A year before the midterm elections, state election administrators are racing to plug vulnerabilities and update software ahead of an expected wave of cyberattacks from foreign actors. In interviews, state officials and elections experts said they are working to bolster internal security at both the state and local levels. At the same time, many said they hope Congress will act to update federal election law, in part to provide them with the resources they need to secure the democratic process. “No matter what steps we take today, cybersecurity and the cyber risk evolves and changes daily, and we just have to be vigilant and diligent going forward,” said Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos (D). “Anybody that thinks, ‘today I’ve got it covered,’ and washes their hands of it is fooling themselves.”
… DHS and FBI agents have been on the ground in Virginia, where voters went to the polls Tuesday, to combat any potential Election Day assaults.
Edgardo Cortés, the commonwealth’s elections commissioner, said his office’s pre-election planning has “taken on a different feel this year” after Russian-backed hackers tried to penetrate voting systems in nearly two dozen states. Virginia replaced hundreds of touch-screen voting machines with new machines that will leave an auditable paper trail.
… But Cortés warned that there is still work to be done ahead of next year’s midterms. “We’ve got a year at this point until the midterms. There’s no way to change that time frame, so that’s really going to be the biggest challenge — doing as much as possible knowing there’s that amount of time,” Cortés said. “If you’re still worrying about certain things come Election Day, you’ve missed the time frame to be able to do anything.”
Full Article: Election officials race to combat cyberattacks | TheHill.