Homeland Security Must Help Secure Election System
August 8, 2016 (WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson regarding the security of the nation’s election system. In recent weeks, a spate of hacking incidents against national political institutions have brought into sharp focus that cyber hackers, possibly at the direction of a foreign government, are engaged in a campaign to exploit cyber vulnerabilities to impact the forthcoming national election. Secretary Johnson recently stated that discussions are underway to designate our nation’s electronic ballot-casting system as “critical infrastructure”.
In the letter, Congressman Thompson writes:
“The Department [of Homeland Security] must act swiftly to prevent even the suggestion that our electoral processes are vulnerable or under attack and ensure the public confidence of one of our most sacred treasures—the right to vote—is not affected by the prospect of malicious cyber and information technology intrusions. Local, county, and state officials must be able to call on the Federal government to defend the integrity, reliability, and validity of our free and democratic elections. DHS, as the Federal government lead for working with State, local, tribal, and territorial governments to secure critical infrastructure and information systems, is the natural partner for efforts to address cyber vulnerabilities in the nation’s electoral system.”