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A voter submits a ballot in Hermosa Beach, Ca. on Tuesday. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

No one appears to have hacked the 2018 midterm elections. That's pretty good!

Yes, but: Concern over what happened in 2016 fueled much of the legislative momentum to increase election security. After a successful election, some of that impetus could vanish.

What they're saying: "It was clear that the stepped-up effort and heightened awareness around election security helped in the midterm elections," said Jay Kaplan, co-founder and CEO of Synack, a security firm that pledged more than $1 million to a pro bono election security service for states.

  • "A united, proactive effort on election security can defend our democracy from our adversaries, but we absolutely cannot get complacent," he said.

The bottom line: States still lack adequate funding to purchase less hackable equipment, including machines with auditable paper backups and other security enhancements. Not all states that can audit machine accuracy, do audit machine accuracy — useful against hacking or bugs. And while the bevy of companies volunteering services, like Synack, is helpful, the effort lacks coordination.

The outlook: Many states are still gung-ho about improving security.

  • "This doesn’t change our attention to election security concerns," said a representative from the Colorado secretary of state's office. "This is a race without a finish line because the nature of threats is continually evolving and requires vigilance."

But it will take until January to see whether the new Congress has matching enthusiasm.

And the midterm elections aren't over. There are still recounts and runoff elections aplenty before this election is totally out of the woods.

Go deeper

46 mins ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

Senate Democrats unveil new income tax for billionaires

Sen. Ron Wyden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday released a billionaires' tax proposal, designed to help support President Biden's social spending and climate change legislation.

Why it matters: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the Billionaires Income Tax would raise "hundreds of billions of dollars" and would affect approximately 700 taxpayers who have more than $1 billion in assets or incomes of over $100 million a year.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.