Secretary Wyman renews contract with Washington Air National Guard ahead of 2020 elections

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Washington Military Department to engage the Washington Air National Guard in election security in advance of the 2020 elections.

The agreement allows a team of Army and Air National Guard members to conduct ongoing cybersecurity assessments of the state’s elections infrastructure, monitor activity during the election cycle, and fine-tune response plans in the event of a cyber attack. In 2018, Washington was among the first states to bring in federal partners to bolster elections security when Wyman signed a memorandum in July of that year.

“I’m excited to continue this partnership and thrilled to see more and more states joining forces with federal cyber experts to augment efforts being made across the nation to secure our elections,” said Wyman. “In Washington, we’re lucky to be home to major tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and even Boeing. So to be able to pull from the brain trust of National Guard members working for these companies and other major firms is truly remarkable and will help set us up for success in 2020.”

“The launch of our new VoteWA platform, which significantly improved the security stance of Washington’s elections systems, has poised our state and county partners for success in the future. I’m looking forward to having this tactical team assess VoteWA and make recommendations that will further enhance our security,” she added.

Wyman was joined by Major General Bret D. Daugherty, the adjutant general of the Washington Military Department, to sign the deal.

“The Washington National Guard has unique skills to ensure our critical infrastructure is protected, and our national security remains high,” said Daugherty. “That includes our elections system, which we know is under attack by military and political opponents. I’m pleased Secretary Wyman is committed to our partnership and protecting the integrity of our elections. We’ll use our skills to identify any vulnerabilities, make any necessary protections and monitor throughout the process to ensure our voting process isn’t disrupted.”

The contract will be paid for by funds allocated to Washington in 2018 under the 2018 Help America Vote Act Election Security Fund, of which the state was granted more than $8 million for elections security spending.

Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.

– Washington Secretary of State