National: Mitch McConnell is Making the 2020 Election Open Season for Hackers | Sue Halpern/The New Yorker
On May 21st, four commissioners who compose the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (E.A.C.) were asked to attest, in Congress, that they agreed with the findings of the special counsel Robert Mueller that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. It was a strange and oddly suspenseful moment in what might have been a routine oversight hearing of the House Administration Committee. The E.A.C. is a small, relatively obscure agency, established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (H.A.V.A.), an election-modernization bill that was passed in response to the disastrous failure of voting equipment during the 2000 Presidential election. H.A.V.A. allocated over three billion dollars to the states to upgrade their election systems and authorized the E.A.C. to distribute it. The E.A.C. was also mandated to advise election officials and oversee the testing and certification of voting and vote-tabulation machines. Seventeen months away from the next Presidential election, it could be leading the charge against future cyberattacks. It is not.