Home M3AAWG Blog M3AAWG expands the Anti-Abuse fight to include new emerging threats and associated technologies

Part 2
Addressing Elections Anti-Abuse Issues 

By Janet Jones, M3AAWG Vice Chair Board of Directors / Data & Identity Protection Co-Chair (Microsoft)


M3AAWG announced the creation of a new special interest group in Montreal to fight elections abuse. The Elections SIG hosted a panel discussion and working session to understand how to shape future work and collaboration. State government and industry expert panelists came together to discuss past, present, and future risks with the electoral process and how we can work together to secure the way we choose our future leaders. The following is a detailed view of the problems the Elections SIG will be working to address for these new emerging threats.


The voting and electoral process is under scrutiny, and adversaries are trying to undermine the will of the people in democracies around the globe. The election infrastructure, organizations, and people entrusted in administering those elections are not the only entities that deserve the attention. Social platforms, candidates, and the electorate need to understand how mis- and disinformation bear massive influence on free and fair elections. 

With the demography of voters constantly changing, from aging Baby Boomers to the mobility of Millennials in the U.S. and abroad, the use of communication platforms is ever-present and expanding (i.e. register, receive ballots, track ballots, etc.). 

Furthermore, most security experts agree that the electoral infrastructure and the underlying systems are vulnerable - this has come to light in the run up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and since. The risks posed to our electoral process are not only potential compromises to the physical hardware used to cast and count votes, but to the entire process by which we learn about the issues, candidates, and how we engage in in our democracy. 

The system’s legitimacy depends on the public’s trust that the vote they cast is recorded and counted as cast. The underlying process is resilient as election officials have built in policies and procedures to protect, detect, and recover from many of these vulnerabilities, but there is also an understanding that it will take partnerships and collaboration to continuously improve and buy down risk. 

In our final post we'll explore conversations from Montreal around the Post-Quantum Transition, why it is important to the industry and for the M3AAWG community, and how we can start to prepare for it.  

Click here to read the first post in our recap of M3AAWG 47 in Montreal. 



The views expressed in DM3Z are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect M3AAWG policy.