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Voting Security & Russian Interference

by Countable | Updated on 3.21.18

What’s the story?

It’s been a busy week for the Senate Intelligence Committee in regards to Russia. On Tuesday the Committee issued a report on election security based on their year-long investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Then on Wednesday they held a hearing on the issue, questioning both current head of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and former head Jeh Johnson.

The report contains recommendations that have been suggested by technology and election security experts for some time:

  • Reinforce state’s primary authority in administering elections.

  • Create effective deterrence by responding appropriately to hostile acts, such as election interference, and working with allies to develop new international cyber norms.

  • Improve information sharing on threats between federal and state officials, including the expediting of security clearances for state election officials.

  • Secure election-related systems, including voter databases, through better coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), state election cybersecurity staff and vetted private cybersecurity vendors.

  • Securing the vote itself through immediate moves to reintroduce voting machines that provide a paper back up for every vote.

  • Federal funds dedicated to providing support to states in replacing equipment, training staff, and conducting election audits.

In the hearing Wednesday, senators questioned Nielsen about their recommendations, and what DHS is doing to support them. For the entirety of the hearing, you can check CSpan, but here are some clips.

What do you think?

Should states be obligated to work with Congress, with full transparency, to combat election interference? Should the federal government prioritize resources to help states prepare for the 2018 elections and beyond? Are there recommendations in the Intel Committee’s report that you think are most important to implement soon, or that miss the mark?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: U.S. Dept of Homeland Security via Flickr / Creative Commons)

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(36)
  • Mindful
    03/21/2018
    ···

    It’s a Clear & Present Danger that Trump has not verbally expressed his outrage at Putin’s activity in this regard to alert us all to known Truth/Reality. Instead he congratulates Putin for the sham election results that make him the ‘winner’. Where is Trump’s loyalty?

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  • DavisTrev
    03/21/2018
    ···

    The federal government should share best practices, share intelligence, and help when asked, but we should be VERY wary of centralized federal oversight of our elections. One saving grace in our current system is that its decentralized nature made it more difficult for hackers to cause damage. Hardening our systems is important, but the federal government, especially DHS with Trump in charge, should not get power over states or any backdoor access to states equipment. For instance it is critical we have paper back up for every vote and we should never allow critical code on the internet; these best practices could be required by the federal government without it overstepping its bounds or becoming a further liability to the security of the system.

    Like (19)
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  • James
    03/21/2018
    ···

    These are all positive moves toward protecting local elections nationwide! However more needs to be done! California and other states are allowing ILLEGAL ALIENS and others such as prisoners to obtain legal state IDs and Driver’s licenses! This is totally wrong and treasonous as that is Aiding and Abetting a Criminal! Whatever bill comes out of this had better include positive and straight forward laws that will illuminate this and bring charges to local, state and federal officials whether elected or appointed! Enough! Cheating is Cheating! As for the Russians! I’m sick of hearing about that crap!

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  • Maryjane
    03/21/2018
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    Senator Angus King, after much study, is sounding the alarm that the U.S. does NOT have a cyber security/ warfare DETERRENT policy. There are NO repercussions or negative consequences to the ongoing cyber attacks into sensitive national & corporate systems. Think Russia & China. This is a most dangerous situation for the U.S.

    Like (7)
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  • KansasTamale
    03/21/2018
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    These ideas are a start toward securing our elections from hacking, but it’s only a start. More and better cyber security is a necessity to keep our country and democracy safe. Take the extra money designated for creating more Nukes & put that amount into cyber security.

    Like (5)
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  • Azrael
    03/21/2018
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    It’s a start Protect mueller so it never happens again Our election was stolen

    Like (4)
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  • Meg
    03/21/2018
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    No we are not ready which is why I vote by Absentee Ballet. It is a piece a paper that can be counted by hand. Here in Georgia, our Touch Screen Voting Electronic Machines are 16 years old and are susceptible to other methods of vulnerabilities other than through the Internet. I won’t go into detail, but it has always been vulnerable in my opinion as a former Computer Security Specialist in the Intelligence Community.

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  • RadicalModerate
    03/22/2018
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    Russians “hacking” our election and changing votes is laughable. The thought of individuals beliefs and actions being effected by propaganda, foreign or domestic is concerning. Please, everyone think for yourselves. Hey you, liberal. You conservative. Don’t believe everything you think.

    Like (2)
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  • Thelma
    03/21/2018
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    Free and fair elections are the core of our country. The federal government must provide all the financial support it can to secure our election system, but it must permit state independence at the same time. That each state had its own system protected our federal election to some degree.

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  • David
    03/22/2018
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    Security off voting systems is crucial and always has been. Make this the highest priority.

    Like (1)
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  • Jeannine
    03/22/2018
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    Our Cheating mob boss criminal President is only President because of cheating so I’m guessing he’s not going to do what he swore he would and protect our democracy , the constitution , citizens, or our elections. Therefore congress should pass a law or even enforce the laws we already have and protect our elections and put an end to the propaganda that’s ruining our country, and the world, from Facebook and Fox News, as well as stop pac money and corporate funding from eroding “government for the people” all people not just rich ones. Oh yeah but if all that happened and republicans stopped gerrymandering they would have to actually run on their own merits and wouldn’t be able to spread hate and fear enough to get elected so the country would actually be run by good people who actually did the job of representing the people and not their greedy donors, so obviously you won’t won’t to do that because the country might actually be a better place and republicans hate anything good. Your all slacking on your oversight duties and letting that criminal ruin our country. Your all going to loose your seats anyway so you think, you’d want to at least go down with some dignity, and try to fix what you’ve ruined. No republicans even seem to give a crap if the Russians invade, and take over the country, or nuke us with hypersonic missiles, after they blow up our nuclear power plants, and use president as a spy giving them all our plans and secrets,so they can brainwash the stupid of the country by making fake news, because it’s the only hope you criminals will be back in power even if you all have to work for Putin as well, as long as he fills your pockets like Trumps it’s fine with you. Don’t go down as the biggest dicks in history....stop this before it’s too late, if it isn’t already

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  • Marylynn
    03/22/2018
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    Comrade Bone Spurs isn't going to say squat to Putin about meddling in the election, it's what got him elected!!! Besides Bone Spurs is Putin's puppet, it's obvious the Russian dictator has significant dirt on Bone Spurs and will use it when necessary. Bone Spurs is counting on future assistance in the 2020 election, so he isn't going to do anything to prevent Russia from interfering again.

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  • James
    03/22/2018
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    States should have to remain completely transparent to federal agencies and citizens about elections. The Senate's suggestions should be enacted immediately to help secure our elections. We are talking about the foundation of our way of governing being challenged so nothing is more important.

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  • John
    03/22/2018
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    They left out the need for Voter ID for all elections, even the poorest countries have voter IDs, India and Mexico Re two of them

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  • Samuel
    03/22/2018
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    Do the right thing

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  • Bluewitsend
    03/25/2018
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    I support an intensive cyber protection improvement for a cyber war and hacking defense.

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  • MIKAL
    03/22/2018
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    Donald Trump aside... It is IMPERATIVE that YOU act to STOP & DETER Russian interference in OUR electoral processes... THIS is NOT a PARTISAN ISSUE!

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  • Dennis
    03/23/2018
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    lol

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  • Le
    03/22/2018
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    So hellary and the commie squad at the DNC make up a story about Russian interference in the election and now it's being treated as if it were the truth?

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  • Tom
    04/02/2018
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    Is everyone forgetting that Obama called Putin and congratulated him also.

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