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CISA, EAC release communications guide for state, local election offices

NextGov/FCW: “The top U.S. cybersecurity agency and federal election information clearinghouse jointly unveiled a guide to help election officials develop a public communications plan for conveying accurate information on election administration and security. Both the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and Election Assistance Commission targeted state, local, tribal and territorial officials in the guidance released Monday, arguing in a prepared statement that such offices are the “trusted, authoritative sources for election information” and “frequently engage in public communications and answer questions from the media and the public” on ranging voter topics like registration, polling locations and security measures. “Election officials can mitigate risk to election infrastructure and operations by developing a public communications plan that conveys accurate information about how they administer and secure elections and by preparing their teams to communicate effectively during incident response,” the guide says. Administrators are grappling with myriad election safety concerns in the U.S., especially with the advent of generative artificial intelligence tools and growing distrust in democratic systems. CISA and EAC argue a lack of public understanding around election outcomes could ultimately undermine their integrity, but communications “can provide voters with the information necessary to have confidence that an election has been administered securely,” the guide adds. Officials, lawmakers and researchers have voiced increasing worries that AI tools could greatly enhance the spread of election misinformation or support disinformation operations aimed at undermining the electoral process as November approaches. Those machine-generated materials have already worked their way into elections around the world, but have yet to fully turn the tide of their outcomes…”

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