During Barack Obama’s last few weeks in office, he ordered the Department of Homeland Security to classify local and state election systems under the new federal designation of “critical infrastructure.” As reported in the Daily Caller, despite a cross party vote against this order,
“The Obama administration took state officials by surprise when only day before leaving office, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced he was permitting state and local election machinery to be placed under his federal cybersecurity program. Many state officials denounced the action.”
Now State officials are trying to fight back against Obama’s executive order by appealing to the newly installed Trump administration to not “impose federal authority of state-run election systems”. The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), is leading the charge and it is comprised of officials from all 50 states.
“The decision was timed to coincide with issuance of an intelligence report on alleged Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 elections.”
State officials who originally thought that President Trump would oppose these orders fear that control of elections could be left to the federal government — to regulate and administer elections.
“The biggest difficulty was the stonewalling from the previous administration. They just don’t seem to give us any answers to our repeated requests,”
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, was a vocal critic of the federal designation:
“I hope this call for change leads to a productive discussion with the new administration.”
He learned after the 2016 election that an attempt was made to compromise his state’s voter registration. The cyber intruder was traced to a DHS computer’s IP address. The DHS Inspector General is investigating the incident.