Election Integrity // CEO Column February 2021

Daniel Carlisle // President/CEO & General Counsel

As a member of Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative, each of you has a significant role to play in helping direct the future of the cooperative. One of the many ways our members can get involved in the cooperative is by participating in the democratic process of electing our board of directors. TWEC’s board is made up of cooperative members, elected by fellow members at the Annual Meeting.

Election integrity is extremely important to all of us at Todd-Wadena. To conduct a secure and fair election, the cooperative partners with Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) for our election process. SBS acts as a trusted third party helping to ensure elections are fair, transparent, efficient, and effective. 

Here is an overview of the services SBS provides for TWEC:

Election Security: SBS is SOC II Type 2 Compliant. All security related policies, procedures, and plans follow strict auditable steps and are reviewed on a scheduled basis. 

System Architecture and Firewall Protection: SBS security architecture and firewall protection exceed recommended security practices. All data processed and stored by SBS is encrypted end-to-end, both in transit and at rest. Firewalls are monitored and maintained, to protect election data at all times. 

Data Center Provider: SBS partners with a premier third-party data center, Flexential, for private cloud data services. Flexential’s Minnesota location is in Chaska, Minnesota but is part of a larger 40 data center network for purposes of colocation and disaster recovery. 

Voter Security: The first step in ensuring voter security in an election is ensuring secure transfer of the voter (member) database to SBS personnel for the ballots. SBS utilizes a secure file portal, which is encrypted end-to-end using TLS Encryption Version 1.2. 

Physical Security: All ballots will be secured by a three-tiered security vault. SBS offices are enhanced with physical and electronic security. 1) All visitors are required to sign in and present credentials. 2) Visitors do not have access to the production area unless escorted by an SBS employee. 3) Within the production facility, project documents, including ballots, will be stored in a locked vault at SBS with limited access by authorized SBS staff while in process or during production.

By utilizing the election services provided by SBS, Todd-Wadena is making sure the cooperative’s election process is both transparent and secure. We encourage you to take part in voting for TWEC’s Board of Directors and the proposed Bylaw amendments at the upcoming Annual Meeting on April 20th, 2021.