6 Items

Voters mark their ballots during early voting at the Park Slope Armory in Brooklyn, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Report - Defending Digital Democracy

Beyond 2020: Policy Recommendations for the Future of Election Security

| February 2021

The 2020 election presents a paradox. Despite dramatic changes to the election process due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly complex threats since the 2016 election, 2020 is widely regarded as “the most secure [election] in American history.” Operationally, it was also one of the smoothest. State and local election officials overcame unprecedented challenges and scarce resources to administer an election with fewer incidents of cyber compromises, technical failures or long lines than anticipated. After Election Day, recount procedures functioned as designed. Yet, amidst these successes, officials from both parties faced a barrage of mis- and disinformation about the election process that served to undermine confidence in the result.

Though the election security ecosystem survived the triple threat of cybersecurity, physical security, and mis- and disinformation in 2020, this success will prove to be hard to replicate in future election cycles without proper investment and reinforcement.

A child waits for her mother to finish voting in a polling booth at the Nativity School on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Analysis & Opinions - Financial Times

America vs. the Hackers: a Cyber-Security Bootcamp

    Author:
  • Hannah Kuchler
| Apr. 26, 2018

It is a war game with a twist. Instead of army officers, election officials are in charge. Instead of battling against an enemy armed with missiles, defences are choreographed against hackers hidden behind foreign computers. With the US midterm elections fast approaching, more than 160 election officials from across the country have just months to learn how to defend democracy.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Building Cyber Defenses For U.S. Elections

| Spring 2018

Undaunted, a group of young civil servants is working directly with political operatives and state and local officials to fortify campaigns and elections against cyberattacks and information operations: Harvard Kennedy School students affiliated with the Belfer Center’s Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P).

Defending Digital Democracy

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Press Release

Belfer Center Launches “Defending Digital Democracy” Project To Fight Cyber Attacks and Protect Integrity of Elections

| July 18, 2017

The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School launched a new, bipartisan initiative today called the “Defending Digital Democracy” (DDD) Project.