The potential for Russian hacking of election systems in the 2018 midterm elections has emerged as an urgent and destabilizing issue in the run-up to the U.S. elections. State and local election officials are accused of mismanagement and a lack of focus on the dangers of election systems hacking. Five U.S. states rely on outdated electronic voting systems with no paper trail, according to The Guardian, which also reported that eight more states will be using antiquated systems vulnerable to Russian cyberattack over at least part of their territory in the upcoming November elections.
States have failed to effectively allocate $380 million in funds that the U.S. Congress authorized in March to upgrade the security of their election security systems for the midterm elections in November. “The big picture is that US election infrastructure remains dangerously vulnerable to cyber-attacks,” Alex Halderman, a leading voting security expert at the University of Michigan, told The Guardian.
Last week, Democratic Senator Bill Nelson sparked a firestorm when he announced that Russia has “penetrated” some Florida voting systems ahead of the midterms. Nelson is in a tight race against Florida’s current governor, Rick Scott, who has accused Nelson of either disclosing classified information or making things up.