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August 13, 2016

Keeping the Vote Cybersafe

To the Editor:

In “U.S. Seeking Ways to Keep Hackers Out of Ballot Box” (news article, Aug. 4), Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says the Obama administration is discussing giving extra protections to the nation’s electoral system. This change may be necessary and should be considered immediately.

The diverse nature of the cyberthreat, and the recent revelation that outside actors, possibly nation-states, have an increased interest in influencing our elections, make it imperative that the federal government give additional attention to securing our electoral system and possibly deem it part of our nation’s critical infrastructure.

Without delay, Mr. Johnson should communicate with the thousands of jurisdictions in the country that help carry out elections and offer the Department of Homeland Security’s assistance, expertise and guidance. While the diverse and varied nature of our voting infrastructure confounds efforts to secure it, this tells us that the process should begin as soon as possible.

By:  Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security
Source: NY Times