Skip to main content

Our review is taking longer than normal

Due to high volume, the review process for new domain requests may take 8 weeks or more. We’ll prioritize requests from election organizations and federal agencies. Sign in to check the status of your request.

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

.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 a senior official. This person must be in a role of significant, executive responsibility within the organization.

For state-level election offices, the senior official is typically the state’s chief election official. For local election offices, the senior 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.

View our checklist for moving to .gov.

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.

Read more about CISA election security support or contact your CISA regional office representative.

Request your .gov domain

Read about what you’ll need to request your .gov domain.

Start a .gov domain request

cisa logo

An official website of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Looking for U.S. government information and services?