The Department of Homeland Security (DHS ) chief Jeh Johnson this week spoke with state election officials to discuss prevention of cyber attacks in the upcoming fall elections. America’s voting machines are old, use different systems in thousands of districts across the country. Many use old computers which are more vulnerable to malware, bugs and hacking.
Even though the upcoming election is federal, there are also local and state-wide elections and the operations are handled by states and local governments. The federal government has limited authority, for example to order the use of standard new machines which can prevent cyber attacks.
The Department of Homeland Security has offered to provide some assistance to prevent cyber attacks. This requires the local agencies to request help from the agency. One major concern is making sure that the voting machines are not internet connected.
Replacing voting machines before the election is not possible, due to cost and timing.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers