Democratic senators are asking a federal agency that helps certify and secure voting systems for a “full account” of its work to secure the 2016 election from Russian hackers. The senators, led by Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), also want the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to detail cybersecurity challenges facing state and local officials as they look to safeguard future elections. The intelligence community concluded in an unclassified report released in January that Russia engaged in a cyber and disinformation campaign during the election to undermine U.S. democracy and damage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Intelligence officials determined that “Russian intelligence accessed elements of multiple state or local electoral boards,” though they found no systems involved in voting tallying were breached.
Nearly all 50 states asked for help from the Department of Homeland Security to secure their voting systems ahead of the presidential election, following reports that election databases in Illinois and Arizona had been breached by hackers.
The EAC certifies voting systems and helps state and local election officials make sure elections are accurate and secure. In December, the commission said it was investigating a possible cyberattack on its web-facing systems.
“We are writing to request a full account of the EAC’s efforts in the cybersecurity sphere in 2016,” the senators wrote in a letter to the commissioners, according to a Friday release. “Based on your work with election officials, cybersecurity experts and federal law enforcement, we also would appreciate an impartial assessment of the challenges that state and local election officials face in protecting future U.S. elections from cybersecurity threats,” they wrote.
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