Biden CISA Director: Expect ‘Errors,’ ‘Glitches’ as ‘Normal’ in Elections

Biden CISA Director: Expect 'Errors,' 'Glitches' as 'Normal' in Elections Jen Easterly Jen Easterly, Director of Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. (Christina Almeida Cassidy/AP)

By Eric Mack | Tuesday, 01 November 2022 02:12 PM EDT

The Biden administration's cyber defense agency director is warning midterm election voters to expect "errors" and "glitches" that "happen in every election" — like a "pipe will burst" — but she says that is "normal" and "not nefarious" and the media should fall in line on that narrative.

"There are going to be errors, there are going to be glitches — it happens in every election," according to Jen Easterly, director for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the Department of Homeland Security, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies symposium Tuesday.

"But that's why there are multiple layers of security controls and resilience built into the system."

Easterly added an urge for the media to not suggest "glitches" are "nefarious."

"So, to the media, that's where I really want to ask for everybody's help, because these things are going to happen," she continued. "Somebody will forget their key to the polling place. A water pipe will burst.

"These are normal things. They're not nefarious. It's super important that folks get the word out on how elections work."

Easterly's mention of a water pipe burst is a reference to the 2020 presidential election concern of former President Donald Trump, which reportedly led to ballot counters to be sent home in the middle of the night.

"Elections are not over when the polling place closes," Easterly continued. "There's so much work to be done to ensure there is reconciliation of provisional ballots, counting of absentee ballots, military voters.

"We all need to let the machinery of democracy work."

Among other noteworthy remarks from Easterly on Tuesday related to election security and integrity:

  • "There is no information, credible or specific, about efforts to disrupt or compromise that election infrastructure" before the midterms.
  • "I am very confident that we have done everything we can to make election infrastructure as secure and as resilient as possible," despite "a more complex environment than I think we've ever experienced."
  • On election worker safety: "You've got these horrible physical security concerns at an unprecedented level, threats of intimidation of violence, of harassment against election officials, polling places, voters."
  • Foreign adversaries are hoping for division and integrity questions in our elections, she said: "That's what foreign adversaries want. They want to have disruption. They want to sow discord. They love the partisan rancor. They love tearing apart America."
  • And election disinformation "can be used by foreign adversaries to sow discord among the American people to undermine confidence in the integrity of our elections and to incite violence against election officials."
  • "We are concerned about #Russia & #Iran & #China trying to influence our elections," adding, "it's a significant concern."
  • The Russian war in Ukraine might only heighten election interference operations from adversaries, she concluded: "We need to be prepared for potential activity, disruptive, destructive activity," she said, "given what's happening in Russia, what's happening in Ukraine, some of the rhetoric," and concluding, "it's not the time to put our shields down."

Original Article