Over the past year, Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs set out to provide campaign, political party, and election professionals with practical guides to the most applicable cybersecurity best practices in advance of the 2018 midterm elections in the United States. In November 2017, it released “The Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook” for campaign professionals. In February 2018, it released a set of three U.S. elections playbooks designed to be used together by U.S.-based election administrators: “The State and Local Election Cybersecurity Playbook,” The Election Cyber Incident Communications Coordination Guide,” and “The Election Incident Communications Plan Template.”
Following the release of those playbooks, we heard from international organizations about the need for similar preparation globally. To respond to this need, we are releasing the “Election Incident Communications Plan Template” for a global audience. Wherever election cybersecurity incidents occur, political parties, campaigns, and others supporting democratic elections should be equipped with the tools to communicate quickly and effectively to maintain confidence in the democratic election system.
D3P is a bipartisan team of cybersecurity and policy experts from the public and private sectors, as well as professionals with deep experience in political campaigns. We collaborated with the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to develop a communications response playbook adapted for the international election landscape.