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States making most of "forced marriage" to DHS over election security

Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

National Association of Secretaries of State President and the Secretary of State of Indiana Connie Lawson said states and the Department of Homeland Security had grown into a "good working relationship," if still a somewhat begrudging one, after DHS declared elections critical infrastructure in the wake of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Why it matters: This is a relationship that simply has to work. Intelligence agencies believe states will again face election attacks in 2018, making DHS' technical resources and intelligence capacity critical for local governments who would otherwise have trouble deflecting foreign powers. Meanwhile, the choppy waters between DHS and NASS are based mostly on a bureaucratic hiccup and theoretical arguments about federalism.