Use of Federal Funding for Election Technology and Security

Issued Date
September 17, 2021
Agency/Authority
State Board of Elections

Objective

To determine whether the Board of Elections utilized available funding from the 2018 Help America Vote Act Election Security Grant to enhance the security of the State’s election technology and infrastructure. The audit covered the period from May 1, 2018 to February 11, 2021.

About the Program

The Board of Elections (BOE) is responsible for administering and enforcing election laws in the State. To fulfill these responsibilities, the BOE supports 57 County Boards of Elections and the New York City Board of Elections (County Boards). Congress passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) to help reform the nation’s voting process. HAVA established minimum election administration standards and created the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to aid in the administration of federal elections. The EAC provides funds to states to help them meet these standards and secure and improve election systems. In 2018, the EAC made the HAVA Election Security Grant (HAVA Security Grant) available to help states improve and enhance election administration, technology, and security at both the state and county levels. In June 2018, the BOE received $19.5 million in HAVA Security Grant funds.

Key Findings

Generally, the BOE has utilized available funding from its HAVA Security Grant to enhance the State’s election technology and infrastructure. Specifically, the BOE has planned for and spent funds for the activities described in its ARMOR cybersecurity plan, as outlined in its HAVA Security Grant application. Although a portion of the funds remains unspent as of February 2021, the BOE has designated the remaining funds for ongoing, multi-year initiatives that continue to address constantly evolving cybersecurity threats and enhance election infrastructure and security.

Key Recommendation

Continue to review County Boards’ claims for reimbursement to ensure they are for approved remediation plan activities and that County Boards are moving forward with the needed security measures.

Nadine Morrell

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director
: Nadine Morrell
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: [email protected]
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236