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Secretary Simon Statement in Support of ‘Critical Infrastructure’ Designation for U.S. Election Systems

February 27, 2017

SAINT PAUL — On Saturday, Feb. 18, a resolution passed at the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Winter Conference opposing the recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security “critical infrastructure” designation for election systems. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon released the following statement in support of keeping the U.S. election system designation as ‘critical infrastructure.’

"I respectfully disagree with the conclusion of a majority of my fellow secretaries of state. I support the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s ‘critical infrastructure’ designation for our country’s election systems, as long as the federal government respects state administration of elections. I have follow-up questions about implementation. But the ‘critical infrastructure’ designation simply allows states to work more closely and effectively, on a voluntary basis, with the Department of Homeland Security on threat assessments and cybersecurity.

“Additionally, this designation makes it clear that the U.S. election systems is every bit as important as our country’s banks and power grids, and provides an unmistakable signal to foreign actors that they should stay away from the instruments of our democracy.”

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