Carney signs order allowing National Guard cyberspace unit to assist in election security


Governor John Carney has signed Executive Order #46, authorizing the Delaware National Guard’s 166th Cyberspace Operations Squadron to assist in the 2020 election security efforts.

The squadron’s cybersecurity capabilities will assist in protecting Delaware’s elections infrastructure, a release stated. 

Delaware, like other states, has been concerned about cyberattacks from foreign actors who seek  to disrupt the election.

“Voting is our most fundamental right as Delawareans and Americans, and we will not take for granted the right to cast a vote and to have that vote counted,” said Carney. “Throughout our country’s history, Americans have sacrificed to secure voting rights for our fellow citizens. We have an obligation to take additional steps to protect that right from any cyber threats. This Executive Order is a proactive measure to do just that.”

The  squadron is authorized to work with the Delaware Department of Elections and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) in avoiding the threat of cybersecurity attacks on Delaware’s 2020 elections. Services would include:

  • Providing advice to DTI to prevent, protect and defend against cyber incidents
  • Monitoring and analyzing risks or threats
  • Offering technical and architectural review support for best practices
  • Responding to any incidents 
  • Training and support after the election 

In 2018, Governor Carney approved DTI’s request for the Delaware National Guard to provide similar assistance for the 2018 Primary Election and 2018 General Election. An executive order was not issued because the governor did not activate any Guard members to active duty.

The Guard has been active during  the pandemic in food distribution and Covid-19 testng.