IEAC to promote fact-based debate on cybersecurity and elections
United States, Florida - May 3, 2018 – The International Elections Advisory Council (IEAC) announced recently they will take an active role promoting a fact-based global conversation about cybersecurity in elections, and the benefits and real risks of election technology.
“Amidst all the confusion surrounding the last U.S. election, it is important that we join efforts with other stakeholders to foster a productive dialogue. One that clears away all the unfounded fears and confusion around technology,” said Richard Soudriette, IEAC Chairman.
In September 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contacted election officials in 21 states to warn them that foreign hackers had attempted to hack their voter registration files or public election sites. However, DHS also made it clear that the systems used to register and tally the votes were not compromised.
“We know that email accounts, websites and voter registration systems were subject of attacks. But, to this day, no one has provided any credible evidence demonstrating that a single vote was hacked. We must continue to secure our elections using modern technology that can protect them from current and future threats,” said Soudriette.
Dr. Brigalia Bam, President of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa from 1999 to 2011, explained how there is growing confusion across the African continent about what happened in the United States and what systems were compromised.
In the coming weeks, the IEAC will analyze the ways in which it plans to foster this dialogue.
During this fifth annual meeting, held in Boca Raton on April 25-26, IEAC members had the chance to discuss at length some of the most pressing issues that election commissions from around the world face.
Fake News, another hot-button topic, was also part of the agenda. “Elections are built on the premise that people are making informed choices when they head to the voting booths. Fake news and other tactics to mislead the electorate hinder the legitimacy of elected officials. Election commissions need to be proactive,” commented Soudriette.
The IEAC, founded in 2014, brings together an exclusive group of eminent global leaders with exceptional knowledge and experience in the field of elections to advise Smartmatic and election officials on strategies and solutions that will promote maximum efficiency, transparency, and trust in the election process.
Richard Soudriette, Chairman of the IEAC served as founding president of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Washington, D.C., from 1988-2007; Brigalia Bam, former Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa; Paul DeGregorio, former Chairman of the United States Election Assistance Commission; Attahiru Muhammadu Jega who served as Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission; Leonardo Valdés Zurita, who served as President Councilor of the Federal Electoral Institute of Mexico; and S.Y. Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner of India.