Taylor Hayes


The past decade is rife with examples of actions by nefarious groups to improperly interfere in democratic elections around the world, and it is time that democratic nations band together to effectively combat these interference efforts. More than two dozen nations around the world have fallen victim to some form of election interference. The United States and its allies have traced many of these interference campaigns to state actors, particularly the Russian government.

In 2018, the Group of Seven (G7) announced the creation of a Rapid Response Mechanism (G7 RRM). The aim of the G7 RRM is to limit the impact of election interference through collecting and sharing information about interference campaigns. Most G7 nations have generally complied with the requirements for the G7 RRM, but, by limiting the institution to only G7 nations, the G7 RRM will not have a broad enough membership base to have the necessary impact to protect elections.

The United States should take a prominent role in the development and expansion of election security expertise by leading the creation of an Election Security Centre of Excellence (ESCOE) accredited by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The knowledge gained from the ESCOE should then be operationalized and incorporated into U.S. election laws. NATO is well positioned to host an “expanded-G7 RRM,” or ESCOE. NATO has more than four-times as many member nations as the G7, has a history of countering Russian influence, has developed expertise relevant to election security, and its “center for excellence” (COE) organization model would be effective to create an ESCOE. With the knowledge gained from an ESCOE, democracies around the world can better defend their elections.



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