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May 23, 2023

The U.S. Constitution establishes a decentralized election administration system (Art. I, section 4.1), placing the primary responsibility for election security in the hands of state and local election entities, including secretaries of state, election directors, and county clerks, with support from federal agencies like ODNI, DHS, and the FBI. With over 6,000 election subdivisions nationwide, this system seeks to leverage local expertise and adaptability. However, this decentralized approach has raised concerns about inconsistencies in security practices and varying levels of resources across jurisdictions. While local control supports tailored solutions, a more centralized system could offer standardized security protocols, resource distribution, and expertise sharing, enhancing overall election security and resilience. Ultimately, the effectiveness of the current system depends on balancing local autonomy with the need for national standards and coordination to address evolving security threats.

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