Russia was preparing to wage a campaign to undermine confidence in the US voting process when hackers associated with Russia’s government targeted about 18 state election systems in the months leading up to the 2016 election, the Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded. The hackers attempted to access several state election systems, but the committee said it found no evidence of vote tallies being changed. Some voter registration databases were accessed, though, and the hackers were “in a position to, at a minimum, alter or delete voter registration data,” the committee said in a report released on Tuesday.
“These activities began at least as early as 2014, continued through Election Day 2016, and included traditional information-gathering efforts as well as operations likely aimed at preparing to discredit the integrity of the US voting process and election results,” the senators wrote.
Election security has been a recurring concern over the last decade as states, counties and cities adopted electronic voting machines, but attention was greatly heightened after thethat Russian hackers had made numerous attempts to break into the nation’s electoral systems.