Two swing states, Pennsylvania and Georgia, are declining an offer from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to scan their voting systems ahead of the 2016 elections. In August, DHS offered to help states thwart potential hacking amid cybersecurity concerns about just how easily a U.S. election could be manipulated. Georgia and Pennsylvania, however, have opted out. Instead, the two states will rely on their own systems to monitor potential election hacking, reports NextGov. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp cited state sovereignty concerns. “The question remains whether the federal government will subvert the Constitution to achieve the goal of federalizing elections under the guise of security,” he told Nextgov in an email. “Designating voting systems or any other election system as critical infrastructure would be a vast federal overreach, the cost of which would not equally improve the security of elections in the United States.”
… Despite the states’ confidence in their systems some cybersecurity experts are wary. “Security is extremely, extremely hard,” said Barbara Simons, an electronic voting security expert and computer scientist. “We have seen large organizations like Google, which has extraordinary talent and a large amount of security support being hacked. Do these states think that they’re better at this than Google?” Simons told The Hill, noting that “there have already been serious hacks on political institutions.
… “I’m not saying that our elections will be hacked,” Simons explained. “What I’m saying is that it’s foolish and irresponsible to ignore this.”