Issue One applauds Representatives Nikema Williams (D-GA), Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ), Mike Levin (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Sean Casten (D-IL), and Chris Deluzio (D-PA) for leading efforts to improve resources and protections for elections officials, demonstrating that standing up for election workers is not a partisan endeavor. It is essential for the preservation of our democracy that members of Congress from both parties continue to work together to strengthen our election infrastructure and defend the dedicated people who keep it functioning.
In total, a bipartisan group of 71 Representatives signed a letter calling on the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to emphasize anti-doxxing resources and training for election officials in updates to the agency’s Cybersecurity Toolkit and Resources to Protect Elections through the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC). Federal agencies can and must do more to provide election workers with resources to protect themselves against threats and doxxing. As the letter makes clear: “Our election workers are critical to the functioning of our democratic process. Just as CISA prepares resources to enhance the cybersecurity of our essential election infrastructure, it should also consider providing resources to enhance the cybersecurity of essential election personnel.”
A recent NPR report confirmed that the targeted release of election officials’ personal information continues to haunt these dedicated public servants and their families. During the 2022 midterms an election official’s life was threatened, her home address was doxxed and shared on the internet, and her dog was poisoned. “Election workers are keeping our democracy functioning in the face of constant and terrifying physical intimidation,” said Gideon Cohn-Postar, Issue One’s legislative manager. “They need federal resources and support to continue their essential work in this worsening threat environment.”
Expanding resources and training in CISA’s cybersecurity toolkit is a strong first step, but Congress can and must act to provide federal anti-doxxing protections. A recent poll commissioned by Issue One and conducted by Citizen Data found that a strong majority of Americans across party lines support protecting the sensitive personal information of election officials. The poll found that 77% of Americans believe that election workers’ sensitive information, such as home addresses and license plate numbers, should be protected from public disclosure. Support for these protections crosses partisan divides: 76% of Republicans and 77% of Democrats and independents support anti-doxxing protections for election officials.
Issue: Election Administration