Galesburg, Ill., appears to be a typical small town, nestled in the farmlands of the Midwest. But the unassuming slice of the American heartland, which was the site of an Abraham Lincoln-Stephen Douglas debate in 1858, was invaded by the Russians during the 2016 presidential election through a cyberattack on the state’s voter registration rolls. “The greatest concern that I have is that a foreign entity gets in and doesn’t change a vote, but they just create instability that enough of the American people can’t trust the vote,” Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told Fox News.
“It doesn’t take any foreign government, whether it be Iran or Russia or North Korea or China or whoever it may be, to be able to reach into our system and change hardly anything. If it gives the appearance they could have changed something, whoever the loser is will say ‘maybe I should have won.’ That creates instability and it is really what the Russians are interested in.”
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security say hackers from the GRU, the Russian intelligence service, successfully attacked the computers of the Illinois State Board of Elections. Of 7.9 million registered Illinois voters, the state Board of Elections told Fox News that a total of 76,000 Illinois voters may have had their information viewed, with the greatest number of them — 14,121 — being Galesburg residents.