COVID-19: Remote Voting Trends and the Election Infrastructure Subsector [June 10, 2020] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Summary: "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated the systems and assets used to administer elections as a critical infrastructure subsector in 2017. The federal elections policy framework--including infrastructure protection--has generally assumed in-person voting at official polling places as the primary means of elections administration. Therefore, infrastructure security efforts have focused on reducing risk to existing systems and assets such as voter registration databases, voting machines, polling places, and elections storage facilities. However, recent elections cycles have witnessed increased use of alternatives to in-person voting. Public health concerns about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have accelerated consideration of remote voting options as many voters have sought to avoid the possible health risks of crowded polling places. Elections authorities have invested in new physical and cyber infrastructures to reduce in-person interactions throughout all phases of the election cycle, including but not limited to the casting of ballots on Election Day. These efforts have focused on universal mail voting--the only form of remote voting in wide use. (Some states provide for electronic marking and return of ballots in certain limited cases.) The rapid pursuit of expanded mail voting and development of accompanying infrastructures during the pandemic has presented near-term technical, logistical, administrative, and security challenges to the election infrastructure subsector (EIS)."
CRS Report for Congress, R46407
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/