With election day upon us, and with millions already mailing in their ballot or taking advantage of early voting, it is safe to say this election will be like no other. However, this record-breaking turnout does not slow down bad actors from Iran and Russia from interfering in the upcoming election. According to a recent announcement from the FBI, both Iran and Russia have obtained US voter information.
With just days remaining until Election Day, election security and mail-in voting have played a significant role in this presidential race. Currently, eighteen states and D.C. have started to ease and expand access to vote by mail due to the pandemic. This expansion allows concerned voters to avoid being exposed to the virus at polling places and still allows citizens to exercise their democratic rights. However, the question on every election official's mind across the country is how the United States post office will handle the expected influx in mail-in ballots?
There are 76 days until the 2020 presidential election, and it has already been upended by an unfortunate pandemic that has required states to go back to the drawing board to re-evaluate how voting will take place on November 3rd. However, government officials, particularly at the local level, not only have to contend with a pandemic but also an increase in digital threats such as ransomware attacks. These attacks are being used to create chaos in political campaigns and steal voting data before election day.
With the general election approximately 113 days away, there are mounting concerns about what will occur on Nov 3rd, 2020! Election officials face an extensive array of new cybersecurity threats arising from voting remotely to election officials working from home on unsecured systems leaving delicate data exposed to hackers. Before this health crisis, Congress approved $380 million in grant funds through the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
Election security is a big topic, but it resembles a many-legged centipede. Federal contractors face the reality that elections are the purview of state, county and municipal officials. The technical and managerial abilities of these entities vary from what you might expect in a tiny hamlet to what you might encounter in a million-person suburban county.
Fear of digital sabotage of the mid-term elections has become the biggest cybersecurity talking point of 2018. With the latest election security bill stalled in Congress and suspicions that Russia (and possibly others) are still seeking to sow divisions among the U.S. electorate, voters and political organizations are right to be worried.