Jul 17, 2018

What Mueller's indictments mean for the midterms

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Robert Mueller's latest charges against 12 Russian military officers for hacking the 2016 election shows the importance of state officials ensuring their local election infrastructure is safe for this year's voting.

Why it matters, from the Daily Beast's Barbara Mcquade: "It wasn’t just Democrats who were targeted [by Russian agents]: The very hardware that administers U.S. elections was, too."

  • Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said last week "The warning lights are blinking red again" about a possible Russian cyber attack, and that the federal government was working with states to keep systems secure, according to the New York Times.

In Pennsylvania, according to the Wall Street Journal's Dustin Volz and Alexa Corse, state election officials and federal cybersecurity personnel were meeting for the last time before the November election when they got the Mueller news.

  • What they've done, per WSJ: "... spent the past two years hiring new technology experts, requiring cybersecurity training for poll workers, enrolling in Department of Homeland Security computer vulnerability assessments and, in some cases, purchasing new voting equipment that includes paper-ballot backups that can be audited in the event of any cyber mischief."

A word of caution, from the AP: "While U.S. intelligence officials call it a top concern, they haven’t uncovered a clear, coordinated Russian plot to mess with the [2018] campaign. At least so far."

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