How does Snohomish County Elections protect against cyber threats?

Snohomish County Elections uses layers of defenses to protect against cyber threats.


All Snohomish County Elections employees with computer access complete annual cybersecurity training and are frequently tested to ensure they can recognize and appropriately respond to suspicious emails and other tactics used by cyber criminals.


All ballot counting equipment is never connected to the internet or other networks. The ballot counting equipment also sits in a secured cage that requires two full-time elections employees to access.  Seal logs and video surveillance perform another layer of defense. All ballot counting equipment have USB port locks to further prevent unauthorized access.  


Other non-ballot counting equipment is protected by various network security tools including “Albert Sensors.”  Albert sensors are passive network traffic monitoring devices that look for known cyber threats as they try to enter the county network.  Staff monitor for albert sensor alerts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Snohomish County Elections is also a member of the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing Analysis Center. The EI-ISAC is partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. EI-ISAC provides cybersecurity briefings, training, assessments, and resources to member counties.  

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1. Can I trust election results?
2. Can I observe election processes?
3. Are official ballot return drop boxes secure?
4. How does Snohomish County Elections protect against cyber threats?