All nine members of U.S. Congress representing Maryland requested this month that Republican Gov. Larry Hogan bolster the state’s election security and infrastructure before the 2018 midterms. Gov. Hogan agreed. In a letter to the governor, lawmakers wrote, “With the 2018 midterm elections fast approaching, we hope you will work quickly and collaboratively with the Maryland State Board of Elections to ensure Maryland has access to this critical federal funding.” Maryland is one of 21 states that was notified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last year that Russia attempted to hack their election system. Though the tallying of votes was not thought to have been affected, and many states were only scanned by Russian actors, legislators hope that this new election security funding will prevent future hacks.
Doug Mayer, Gov. Hogan’s spokesperson, said, “The administration will be taking full advantage of new federal funding that all states received.”
Just last month, Congress passed its Omnibus spending package, which includes $380 million to go to the Election Assistance Commission for cybersecurity improvements to state election systems.
The Maryland legislators asked Gov. Hogan to set aside $353,185 to receive the $7 million allocated to Maryland’s election security from that Omnibus bill. The former sum was derived from a federal mandate saying a 5 percent match is necessary to receive the allocated funds.