With cybersecurity, disinformation and foreign interference all having played a part in the 2016 elections, the clock is ticking for government to shore up security by Election Day 2018. But there are some efforts to better secure the digital aspects of elections underway from the Federal Election Commission, the Department of Homeland Security and on Capitol Hill, even as primary election dates draw near. … Katie Harbath, Facebook’s U.S. politics and government outreach manager, said that “regardless of legislation,” the social media site would be taking some “small steps” to make advertising more transparent, including making advertiser verify their identities, as well as labeling political ads and archiving them for four years. Meanwhile, Candice Hoke, who co-directs the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law’s Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection, said that election systems themselves are at risk of digital interference.
DHS revealed in June 2017 that Russia tried to hack at least 21 states’ election systems in 2016. In response, a group of Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Jan. 29 asked committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) subpoena DHS for records relating to the attempted breaches.
“We have large segments of the population voting on equipment that’s not secure,” Hoke said. “It’s poorly designed equipment for the modern age… Yet election systems are some of the most poorly funded governmental operations.”