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Just a small number of states

A few thoughts on this:

A top official at the Department of Homeland Security confirmed on Wednesday that Russia did indeed “successfully” hack voting rolls in a small number of states. NBC writes:

In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, said she couldn’t talk about classified information publicly, but in 2016, “We saw a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.”
While breaches of voter rolls in at least two states—Arizona and Illinois—had been previously reported, this appears to be the first positive confirmation of Russian success by a top Homeland Security official.

Last September, DHS botched the public release of information about Russian hacking efforts in 21 states, originally contacting individual states on a Friday to give them limited information about hacker attempts to breach their systems. The Associated Press finally rolled the reports into one cohesive story. Several days later, Homeland Security officials told Wisconsin officials the information they previously relayed to the state hadn’t been totally accurate. That show of competency been about par for the course for DHS.

Wednesday’s Homeland Security revelation came just hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Russia was already eyeing the upcoming midterms and the U.S. was nowhere near prepared to deal with it.

“I don’t know that I would say we are better prepared, because the Russians will adapt as well,” Tillerson told Fox. […]

“There’s a lot of ways that the Russians can meddle in the elections, a lot of different tools they can use,” Tillerson said.

Tillerson told Fox that he suspects Russia’s exercise of its influence has already begun, and indicated that the US doesn’t really have a solid plan to block it.

via Daily Kos

Well, it’s obvious that the “U.S”, by which Tillerson means the Genius, is fine with the Russians interfering with our elections.

But lets get back to Ms. Manfra, and her “exceptionally small number” of successfully hacked states. I would have thought that the only number that would be dismissed as “exceptionally small”, given the subject matter, is zero, but I guess I’m just a funny thinking liberal, who wonders if maybe the reason Wisconsin was providing inaccurate information is that they were just fine with being hacked, if it helped the Genius get elected.

There may not be much we can do to stop the Russians from spreading fake news and the like, but there are fairly obvious, effective steps we could take to stop them from hacking the voter rolls and voting machines. First, take the voting machines off line completely, along with whatever computers are storing the data collected from them. If that means a bit of extra time tallying the vote, so be it. Second, get rid of all-electronic voting, and require paper ballots or some other mechanism that preserves the ability to count the actual votes cast. There was a time when even many Republicans would see the merit in these obvious common sense moves. But since they figure that any Russian interference will help them, they won’t do a thing to stop it. In the unlikely event the Democrats take the House, they should pass a bill to require those changes in all federal elections. If the Orange one vetoes it, at least the people of this country will see where everyone stands.

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