National: New Election Cyberprotections Cause Confusion and Concern | Governing

January 12, 2017

Amid ongoing investigations into how Russia may have used cyberhacking to influence the 2016 presidential election, the Obama administration added the nation’s elections systems to the list of “critical infrastructure.” The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision, which was announced last Friday, is meant to ensure that elections systems — which include voting machines, storage facilities and voter registration databases — are a high priority for federal cybersecurity assistance and protections. The need for heightened safeguards became clear last year when the FBI found that hackers infiltrated voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois. In both cases, state officials later verified that voter information had not been altered. But in the case of Illinois, a hacker was able to steal personal information from nearly 90,000 voters. The decision to add elections systems to the list has caused confusion and concern among the state and local officials who handle U.S. elections.

Read more: