Delware Governor Mobilizes National Guard Cybersecurity Troops to Monitor Election

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WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney has signed Executive Order #46, authorizing the Delaware National Guard’s 166th Cyberspace Operations Squadron to assist in 2020 election security efforts. The Squadron’s unique cybersecurity capabilities will assist in protecting Delaware’s elections infrastructure.

“Voting is our most fundamental right as Delawareans and Americans, and we will not take for granted the right to cast a vote and to have that vote counted,” said Governor Carney. “Throughout our country’s history, Americans have sacrificed to secure voting rights for our fellow citizens. We have an obligation to take additional steps to protect that right from any cyber threats. This Executive Order is a proactive measure to do just that.”

The Squadron is authorized to work with the Delaware Department of Elections and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) in order to avoid the threat of cybersecurity attacks on Delaware’s 2020 elections, which includes:

  • Providing advice to DTI to prevent, protect and defend against cyber incidents
  • Monitoring and analyzing risks or threats
  • Offering technical and architectural review support for best practices
  • Responding to any incidents 
  • Training and support after the election 

Click to read full text of Executive Order #46.

Under the Deputy Secretary of Defense Policy Memorandum 16-002, the Delaware National Guard may coordinate, train, advise, and assist cyber support and services. In 2018, Governor Carney approved DTI’s request for the Delaware National Guard to provide similar assistance for the 2018 Primary Election and 2018 General Election. An executive order was not issued because the Governor did not activate any National Guardsmen or women to State Active Duty.

Governor Carney signed Executive Order #46 on October 15, 2020 and it took effect immediately; it will expire on December 31, 2020.

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