New Group to Provide Expert Guidance and Training for Keeping Election Officials and Voters Safe
For Immediate Release – June 23, 2022
- Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law: Rebecca Autrey, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-753-5904
- Elections Group: Tina Barton, email@example.com, 248-716-0676
- Protect Democracy: Emily Rodriguez, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-709-9885
- R Street Institute: William Gray, email@example.com, 202-904-3271
Today, more than two dozen current and former law enforcement and election officials from across the country announced the formation of the Committee for Safe and Secure Elections (CSSE).
The committee is a cross-partisan national initiative that combines the expertise of both professions with the aim of providing guidance and training for preventing and responding to intimidation, threats, and violence against election officials and voters.
The goal of the committee is to protect elections, election administrators, and voters by building stronger relationships between election officials and law enforcement; developing solutions to respond to and curb intimidation and threats of violence; and creating and sharing resources and best practices for election officials and law enforcement.
“In recent years, election officials and their families have been the targets of a surge in threats and violence. I know firsthand what a surreal and scary experience it is to wake up one day and have local law enforcement contact you because people are angry that you did your job and simply counted votes,” said Neal Kelley, chair of the Committee for Safe and Secure Elections and the former registrar of voters in Orange County, Calif., who also served as a police officer in the city of San Bernardino, Calif. “As a country, we must protect election officials to keep our elections secure and fair. Particularly with the midterms approaching, law enforcement and election officials must work together to keep this new threat from interfering in our elections.”
CSSE’s 32 members include current and former local law enforcement and election officials of different political affiliations. Specifically, the committee is made up of sheriffs, former police officers, state and local election officials, and other experts in cybersecurity and election administration.
“This committee is a place where law enforcement and election officials can establish open lines of communication so we can determine how to best support each other and voters in this new threat environment,” said Peter Koutoujian, the Sheriff of Middlesex County, Mass., and a member of the committee. “This mission has a personal dimension for me. My dad was a city clerk. Elections were a central and cherished part of his job. I joined this committee to ensure that today’s election officials can keep America’s elections running safely and securely, just like he did.”