May 22, 2019
Press Contact: Patrick R. Rigby
email@example.com | 609.584.4392
HAMILTON, NJ — The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) in collaboration with the New Jersey Division of Elections, conducted a series of Election Security Workshops throughout the state aimed towards ensuring the secure and resilient conduct of elections in the State.
The workshops focused on cybersecurity risk management, contingency planning, emergency procedures, and preparedness planning to protect against any physical or cybersecurity incidents impacting our elections. Participants included representatives from the County Board of Elections, County Clerks, Election Superintendents, as well as representatives from the County Information Technology offices and the County Office of Emergency Management.
“These county election security workshops demonstrate our commitment to New Jersey voters and to one of our most basic American principles - every vote counts. Voter integrity and confidence/preparedness are pillars to ensure election security,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way.
The workshop is designed to assist each county in the development of their respective Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP). NJOHSP through its New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC), along with the NJOHSP exercise support team, have completed six workshops that included all 21 counties throughout the State.
“The ability to accurately cast a vote during an election is the paramount right of all citizens and the cornerstone of our democracy,” said Jared M. Maples, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. “With the continued support of State officials and law enforcement partners, our Office remains committed to ensuring the security and integrity of our election process.”
The next steps include reviews with each county on their particular COOP and preparedness, as well as participation in a nationwide virtual Tabletop Exercise (TTX) that will be hosted in June by the US Department of Homeland Security and FEMA. The project will culminate in a state-wide Tabletop Exercise that will bring all counties, state election officials and our partner agencies together in September 2019, in order to evaluate the effectives of each county’s Continuity of Operations Plan.
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP), a Cabinet-level agency, was created in 2006. The Director serves as the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor, and is responsible for leading and coordinating the State’s counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and emergency preparedness efforts while building resiliency throughout the State across all levels of government and the private sector. NJOHSP oversees and distributes discretionary State and federal homeland security and emergency preparedness funds on behalf of New Jersey. More information about NJOHSP can be found at www.njhomelandsecurity.gov.