Two days after President Donald Trump eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator on the National Security Council, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill convened the second meeting of the Elections Cybersecurity Task Force. At the very beginning of the meeting, Merrill reminded the task force that the election system faces several threats, including natural ones, like the tornadoes that touched down in the state last week and caused more damage than some hurricanes in several towns. She said they have emergency protocols in place for what happens if a polling place loses power, but are still putting plans together for emergencies that might not be as easily detected. “This will be the first statewide election following Russia’s attempt to interfere with our election infrastructure right here in Connecticut,” Merrill said.
She said there’s a belief out there that Connecticut’s online voter registration system was “hacked,” but the system was never impacted. Essentially the Russians knocked on the door, but were not able to get in and cause any damage or even change any information. “Our cyber defenses held,” Merrill said.
She said Connecticut’s elections are very difficult to hack because they are decentralized, but what these attempts have done is “scare people” and make them think Connecticut’s elections are not secure.
“It is clear the real attack was on our faith in democracy,” she added.