.Gov for election offices
.Gov domains help the public identify official, trusted election information
Voters get information about voting and elections from many sources. State and local election officials can make it easy to identify official election information on the internet by using a .gov domain.
.Gov domains are free and only available to verified U.S.-based government organizations
Using a .gov domain for your online services (like your website or email) helps the public quickly identify you as a verified government source. Other well-known top-level domains (like .com, .org, or .us) can be registered by anyone in the world for a fee. Malicious actors know this, and they’ve tried to impersonate election organizations. Protect your office by using a .gov domain.
Using .gov increases security
Multi-factor authentication is required for all .gov accounts (unlike commercial domain registrars).
We preload all new domains. Preloading requires browsers to use a secure HTTPS connection to your website. This protects your visitors’ privacy. This also ensures that the content you publish is exactly what your visitors receive.
You can add a security contact for your .gov domain. This makes it easier for the public to report potential security issues with your online services.
The .gov basics for election offices
An official from your organization needs to approve your domain request
All domain requests must be approved by an authorizing official. This person must be in a role of significant, executive responsibility within the organization.
For state-level election offices, the authorizing official is typically the state’s chief election official. For local election offices, the authorizing official is typically the elected or appointed official that runs the office.
You might be able to keep your existing domain
If your office already has a domain name with another top-level domain (like .org or .com), you might be able to keep that name when you switch to .gov. We’ll verify whether it’s available and meets our naming requirements.
Your geographic area must be clear in your .gov domain name
Your geographic area must be clear in your .gov domain name. In many cases, this will require including the two-letter state abbreviation. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Read more about our domain name requirements.
Support for moving to .gov
Though .gov domain registration and renewal are free, there are often costs associated with moving to a new domain. These costs may include hiring technical staff or consultants to facilitate the switch, replacing printed materials, and informing the public of the change.
While we cannot guarantee access to funds, election offices may wish to seek funding from the following sources.
State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program
The DHS State and Local Cybersecurity Grant program cites “migration to the .gov internet domain” as a cybersecurity best practice that must be included as part of an application’s Cybersecurity Plan. Eligible entities can use grant funds to implement their Cybersecurity Plan, which includes costs associated with moving to .gov.
Homeland Security Grant Program
The DOTGOV Act made “migrating any online service” to .gov an allowable expense under the Homeland Security Grant Program. FEMA manages the grant program, and potential grantees may include transition costs in their investment justification. For more information, read FEMA’s preparedness grants manual (PDF, page 55).
Help America Vote Act Grants
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has acknowledged that Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds can be used for the process of transitioning to a .gov domain. Election officials are advised to consult with the EAC before making any purchase to ensure it is an appropriate expenditure of funds under the rules governing the grants. Contact the EAC.
State and local collaboration
Election infrastructure often relies on municipal infrastructure. Consider collaborating with your state or local government to get resources for moving to .gov. U.S.-based government organizations are eligible for .gov domains.
Other resources for election offices
CISA works with people on the front lines of elections.
We collaborate with state and local governments, election officials, federal partners, and vendors.
We help manage risks to the nation’s election infrastructure.
We provide guidance, products, and voluntary services to state and local election offices to support the election infrastructure community.
Request your .gov domain
Requirements for requesting a .gov domain
- You must be a government employee, or be working on behalf of a government organization, to request a .gov domain.
- You must have a Login.gov account. Login.gov provides a simple and secure process for signing in to many government services with one account.
- Before you request your first .gov domain, you must verify your identity with Login.gov. This is a necessary layer of security that requires you to prove you are you, and not someone pretending to be you. Get help with Login.gov.
If you have the information you need, requesting your domain might take around 15 minutes.