The Obama administration on Friday afternoon designated the country’s election infrastructure as ‘critical’ reports the hill. It brings federal protections to voting systems but it also federalizes elections, taking power from the states. Elections always came under states’ rights.
“Given the vital role elections play in this country, it is clear that certain systems and assets of election infrastructure meet the definition of critical infrastructure, in fact and in law,” Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said in a statement.
No voting machines were tampered with during any of our elections. The Intelligence Community did find that Russian intruders breached elements of multiple state and local electoral boards.
The new designation will cover storage facilities, polling places, and centralized vote tabulations locations used to support the election process, as well as information and communications technology like voter registration databases, voting machines and other systems used to manage the election process and report results.
Sounds like more ineffective and costly bureaucracy with unaccountable bureaucrats who are overpaid and can never be fired.
Some state and local officials have voiced strong objections, arguing it is federal overreach.
“Prior to reaching this determination, my staff and I consulted many state and local election officials; I am aware that many of them are opposed to this designation,” Johnson said Friday.
Instead, he argued, it will allow the DHS to prioritize cybersecurity assistance to officials who request it and serve as deterrent to foreign interference.
“The designation makes clear both domestically and internationally that election infrastructure enjoys all the benefits and protections of critical infrastructure that the U.S. government has to offer,” Johnson said.
“This designation does not mean a federal takeover, regulation, oversight or intrusion concerning elections in this country. This designation does nothing to change the role state and local governments have in administering and running elections.”
The US government is accused of attempting to hack into state systems. A week after the election, someone in DHS appeared to hack the area of Georgia’s computer system that contains its voter registration database. DHS has denied it.