Pennsylvania Election Threats Task Force established ahead of 2024 election

29 February 2024- As part of his commitment to ensure safe and secure elections in Pennsylvania, Governor Shapiro has established the Pennsylvania Election Threats Task Force. Led by Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt, the Task Force is comprised of federal, state, and local security, law enforcement, and election administration partners who are working together to share information and coordinate plans to mitigate threats to the election process, protect voters from intimidation, and provide voters with accurate, trusted election information.

“Pennsylvania is the birthplace of American democracy, and we are working to continue defending Pennsylvanians’ fundamental freedoms and ensure we have a free, fair, safe, secure election this November. As Attorney General, I brought law enforcement leaders at every level together to ensure our elections remained free from fraud, interference, and intimidation here in Pennsylvania – and I made a commitment to continuing that work as Governor,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “We take our responsibility as stewards of our democracy seriously and the Election Threats Task Force will ensure all levels of government are working together to combat misinformation, safeguard the rights of every citizen, and ensure this election is safe, secure, free, and fair.”

In recent years, Pennsylvania says they have strengthened election administration and improved election integrity by adopting new, state-of-the-art voting systems with auditable paper trails that changed how voters cast their ballot, as well as the introduction of no-excuse mail-in voting in 2020.

In 2018, the Wolf Administration convened an Inter-Agency Election Preparedness and Security Workgroup, which met on a regular basis and played an invaluable role in coordinating election preparedness efforts through the beginning of the Shapiro Administration.

At Governor Shapiro’s direction, the Department of State recently convened the Election Threats Task Force to continue that work and include additional key law enforcement partners. The task force’s purpose is to establish clear, strategic communication and information sharing among public agencies and officials to identify and mitigate threats to the election process.

Among the participants are representatives from key entities at every level of government, including:

  • Governor’s Office
  • Office of General Counsel
  • Department of State
  • Department of Military and Veteran’s Affairs
  • Office of State Inspector General
  • U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania’s Office of the Attorney General
  • County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP)
  • Representatives from among the Commonwealth’s county election directors
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of Administration’s Office of Information Technology
  • Governor’s Office of Homeland Security
  • Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
  • Pennsylvania National Guard

“Every eligible Pennsylvania voter has the right to cast their vote safely and securely,” said Pennsylvania State Police Colonel Christopher Paris. “The Pennsylvania State Police is committed to working with our partners to ensure voters are safe and any threats are mitigated.”

In addition to the creation of the Election Threats Task Force, the Shapiro Administration and the Department of State have also recently increased face-to-face public interactions, produced handouts that provide critical nonpartisan information on voting and election security, and created a fact-check webpage on vote.pa.gov.