EI-ISAC Charter

I. Overview and Mission

The Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC), as established by the Election Infrastructure Subsector Government Coordinating Council (GCC), is a critical resource for cyber threat prevention, protection, response and recovery for the nation’s state, local, territorial, and tribal (SLTT) election offices. The EI-ISAC is operated by the Center for Internet Security, Inc.

The mission of the EI-ISAC is to improve the overall cybersecurity posture of SLTT election offices, through collaboration and information sharing among members, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal partners, and private sector partners are the keys to success.

The EI-ISAC provides a central resource for gathering information on cyber threats to election infrastructure and two-way sharing of information between and among public and private sectors in order to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover from attacks on public and private election infrastructure. The EI-ISAC provides an election-focused cyber defense suite through its 24-hour watch and warning center, real-time network monitoring, dissemination of early cyber threat warnings, vulnerability identification and mitigation, along with education and outreach aimed at reducing risk to the nation’s SLTT election cyber domain.

The EI-ISAC comprises representatives from SLTT election offices and contractors supporting SLTT election infrastructure. The EI-ISAC has built and nurtured a trusted environment between and among our nation’s election offices by providing valuable information and lessons learned on cyber threats/exploits, vulnerabilities, mitigation, consequences, and incidents, and direct assistance with responding to and recovering from cyber attacks and compromises.

The EI-ISAC works closely with DHS and is recognized by the GCC as the national ISAC for SLTT election offices to coordinate cyber readiness and response.

The EI-ISAC also works closely with other organizations, such as the National Council of ISACs, the National Association of Secretaries of State, the National Association of State Election Directors, the Election Center, and the International Association of Government Officials, as well as other public and private sector entities to build trusted relationships to further enhance our collective cybersecurity posture.

II. Definitions

A. Member: refers to any organization that is either an EI-ISAC Member or Supporting Member, as such membership categories are further defined herein below.

B. Primary Contact: the designated individual point of contact (POC) for a Member.

C. Director: directs the day-to-day functions of the EI-ISAC and coordinates activities and funding with the Federal Government. Director is appointed by the President of the Center for Internet Security, Inc., in consultation with the EI-ISAC Executive Committee.

D. EI-ISAC Executive Committee Member: an EI-ISAC SLTT Member contact who is elected by the membership to assist in governance for the EI-ISAC.

E. Formal vote: refers to an official vote for which it is announced in advance that votes will be counted. This may occur during the course of a meeting or via email or other electronic balloting.

F. Data: the information shared by either EI-ISAC or any Member in accordance with the terms of this Charter and any additional terms and conditions established by the EI-ISAC, as necessary.

III. Principles of Conduct

A. The EI-ISAC is operationally focused and actions will be achieved through:

  • Coordination
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Cooperation

B. As part of the membership in the EI-ISAC, in order to achieve a higher state of readiness and resilience to help protect our election infrastructure, each Member will:

  • Agree to the above-stated common Mission;
  • Agree to the EI-ISAC’s philosophy of collaboration and cooperation and work collaboratively with all entities within their organization to further promote the collective mission of the EI-ISAC;
  • Agree to share appropriate information between and among the Members to the greatest extent possible;
  • Agree to collaborate and share across each of the critical sectors to reduce barriers in order to foster our collective mission;
  • Agree to recognize the sensitivity and confidentiality of the information shared and received;
  • Agree to protect all sensitive and confidential information received from other Members by taking all necessary steps, which should be at least as great as the precautions each Member takes to protect its own confidential information;
  • Agree to transmit sensitive data to other Members only through the use of agreed-upon secure methods;
  • Agree to take all appropriate steps to help protect our election infrastructure.

IV. Membership

There shall be two categories of EI-ISAC membership. An organization shall be eligible for EI-ISAC membership provided the organization meets the following requirements for a category:

A. EI-ISAC Member

  1. Is an SLTT election office or a not-for-profit association whose membership is comprised of representatives of SLTT election offices; and
  2. The organization has accepted the EI-ISAC Membership Terms and Conditions.

B. EI-ISAC Supporting Member

  1. Is a contractor that can demonstrate that they are hired to directly support the operations and/or maintenance of SLTT election office IT systems; or
  2. Is a contractor or other organization whose activities are elections related and who is sponsored by another EI-ISAC Member. EI-ISAC members sponsoring a Supporting Member will be surveyed annually to confirm the continuing relationship; and
  3. The organization executes the EI-ISAC Supporting Membership Agreement.
  4. As a Supporting Member, the organization would receive information distributed to all Members including educational materials, as well as event notifications and warnings. Supporting Members are not entitled to other EI-ISAC Member services, including, without limitation, incident response services (unless requested by a SLTT entity), and Member requested research and educational awareness materials. Supporting Members shall be non-voting members of the EI-ISAC.

C. Membership of any non-SLTT election office that meets the requirements of either category of membership will be at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

V. Member Representation and Meetings

A. Each EI-ISAC Member may appoint up to two (2) Primary Contacts to officially represent them on the EI-ISAC. One of these Primary Contacts must be the chief election official or designated person identified as being responsible for election administration. The other Primary Contact must be the Chief Information Security Officer or designated person identified as being responsible for cyber security duties for the SLTT election office.

  1. In the event that the EI-ISAC Member uses an outside entity to provide IT support, a representative of that outside entity may serve as the second Primary Contact for purposes of representing the EI-ISAC Member.

B. Each Supporting Member may appoint up to two (2) Primary Contacts to officially represent them on the EI-ISAC. One of these Primary Contacts must be directly responsible for providing services or systems to SLTT election offices.

C. Members may designate as many individual contacts as it would like to attend and participate in EI-ISAC meetings and functions as appropriate. Contacts for Supporting Members must serve in executive leadership for the Supporting Member or serve in roles that directly support the operations and/or maintenance of SLTT election office IT systems.

D. A roster of Members will be maintained by the Director or designee and each Primary Contact will keep the information pertaining to their Member organization updated.

E. Member Meetings.

  1. The EI-ISAC shall meet at least four (4) times per year and may meet more often as needed.
  2. EI-ISAC meetings are open to all Members. Members may recommend to the Director other invited guests to attend EI-ISAC meetings.
  3. Meetings may be held by teleconference, video conference or similar medium.
  4. Recommendations of items to be considered by the Director or the Executive Committee may be presented by EI-ISAC Members at any meeting. A reasonable effort shall be made by those making recommendations to provide any necessary background information associated with the recommendation available to EI-ISAC Members prior to the meeting if possible.
  5. The Director or designee will maintain minutes or otherwise record all EI-ISAC meetings; at the Director’s discretion, meeting minutes and other EI-ISAC developed documents may be released beyond the EI-ISAC membership.

VI. EI-ISAC Executive Committee

A. Membership of EI-ISAC Executive Committee

  1. There shall be an Executive Committee comprised of thirteen (13) voting members. A contact for any SLTT EI-ISAC Member may be nominated to serve on the Executive Committee, There may only be one contact per Member elected to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will consist of the following:
  • EI-ISAC Director (ex-officio non-voting)
  • Six (6) of the committee members shall represent state election officials
  • two (2) committee members shall be Secretaries of State or Lieutenant Governors;
  • two (2) committee members shall be Senior State/Territorial Election Officials; and
  • two (2) committee members shall be IT security leads from the information technology department of state/territorial election offices.
  • Seven (7) committee members shall represent local election officials
  • five (5) committee members shall be local election officials; and
  • two (2) committee members shall be representatives from the information technology department of local election offices.

2. The terms of the initially selected Executive Committee members will be staggered so that half of each in the above-referenced categories will serve a one (1) year term, and the other half of each will serve a two (2) year term an, except that for those Executive Committee positions representing local election officials, three of the initially selected Executive Committee members will serve a two (2) year term and two will serve a one (1) year term. The Director shall designate which term shall apply to each initially elected Executive Committee member. Thereafter, the term of Executive Committee members, except for the Director, will be two (2) years, and may be renewed for up to three (3) additional two (2) year terms.

B. Election of Executive Committee Members

  1. Executive Committee members will be voted upon annually by the EI-ISAC members by member survey, in accordance with the following:
    1. EI-ISAC state and territorial Primary Contacts only will vote for state and territorial Executive Committee positions.
    2. EI-ISAC local Primary Contacts only will vote for local government Executive Committee positions.

2. Those candidates with the most votes will be selected for the Executive Committee. In the case of a tie, the Director will make the selection. In the event that (a) an Executive Committee member’s employment, election or appointment to a position changes prior to the end of his/her term and no longer meets the requirements for his/her elected category of Executive Committee membership, or (b) an Executive Committee Member otherwise departs the Executive Committee prior to the end of his/her term, the Director (in consultation with the Executive Committee) shall appoint a new Executive Committee member from the same category of Members.

C. Observers

  1. The following organizations may send a designated representative to attend any EI-ISAC Executive Committee meeting as an observer:
  • US Department of Homeland Security
  • U. S. Election Assistance Commission
  • National Association of Secretaries of State
  • National Association of State Election Directors
  • Election Center
  • International Association of Government Officials
  • National Association of Counties
  • National Conference of State Legislators
  • Election Infrastructure Subsector Coordinating Council
  • Election Infrastructure Subsector Government Coordinating Council

2. All observer organizations wishing to attend Executive Committee meetings shall designate a specific representative to attend meetings, but may identify an alternate attendee prior to the meeting. At the discretion of the Executive Committee, additional organizations or individuals may be invited or permitted to attend Executive Committee meetings.

D. Activities of the Executive Committee

  1. The Executive Committee will vote on matters brought to its attention by the Director, workgroups, or the membership at large. Each Executive Committee member will have one (1) vote on matters presented by the Director for vote by the Executive Committee. A simple majority will be sufficient to carry the vote.
  2. The Executive Committee will meet by phone/webcast or in person. Only Executive Committee members, designated observers, assigned EI-ISAC staff, and invited guests are allowed to attend Executive Committee meetings. Attendance at Executive Committee meetings cannot be delegated to another individual.
  3. Members of the Executive Committee are expected to be ambassadors for the EI-ISAC by promoting and supporting its mission, by participating in reporting and other activities of the EI-ISAC, and by encouraging other Members to participate in the activities of the organization.
  4. Executive Committee Members must be willing and able to attend conference call/webcasts.
  5. The Executive Committee will help to develop and approve the goals of all workgroups.
  6. The Executive Committee will be responsible for developing policies and procedures for the operations of the EI-ISAC as necessary, including, without limitation, identifying the scope of services provided by the EI-ISAC.
  7. The Executive Committee will be responsible for advising the Director on strategic direction of the EI-ISAC.

E. Workgroups

  1. The Executive Committee may appoint workgroups or subcommittees to deal with specific matters. At least one of the co-chairs of the workgroup will be an Executive Committee member. Other co-chairs will be EI-ISAC Members; participants in the workgroup may include subject matter experts from entities that are not Members.

VII. Information Sharing Protocol for EI-ISAC Members

A. All Data provided by any Member or the EI-ISAC shall include an information sharing designation in accordance with the US-CERT Traffic Light Protocol (TLP). In the event that Data is shared by the Member or EI-ISAC and such Data does not include a TLP designation, it shall be considered as having been designated TLP Red unless and until subsequently, the entity sharing the Data changes the designation.

B. Notwithstanding the foregoing, all Data provided by Members may be shared with EI-ISAC’s federal partners (including, without limitation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security), and may be shared with other Members provided that the Data is anonymized and not attributable to any individual Member.

VIII. Amendment to the Charter; Dissolution

A. Any changes made to this Charter must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee members voting, provided that at least five (5) days’ notice of such change shall be given to each Executive Committee member before the meeting at which such change shall be considered.

B. Upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee, the EI-ISAC may be dissolved by a vote of a majority of the EI-ISAC Members voting on the resolution, provided that at least twenty (20) days’ advance notice of such vote shall be given to Members before the date of the scheduled vote.

Document Management

  • Original Charter Adopted February 2019
  • Updated Version Adopted January 2020