Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

DHS: Russia Penetrated Voter Registration Rolls in 2016 Presidential Election

DHS: Russia Penetrated Voter Registration Rolls in 2016 Presidential Election

The head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security said that Russian Federation successfully penetrated the voter rolls of several states during the 2016 election.

Jeanette Manfra, the U.S. official overseeing cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, said that Russian Federation has targeted the voter registration systems of 21 USA states ahead of the 2016 election.

Jeh Johnson, who headed the department in 2016, said "it's incumbent upon states and the Feds to do something about it before our democracy is attacked again".

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said the "scattered" jurisdiction poses risks to the country.

She declined to go into further detail about the classified information but said there was "no doubt" the Russian government was behind the attacks.

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"We were able to determine that the scanning and probing of voter registration databases was coming from the Russian government", Manfra added.

There is no evidence that Russian Federation tampered with any voting rolls in the 2016 election, federal officials say.

Russian targeting of voter registration databases became known in the months leading up to the election, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned state governments that hackers had infiltrated the Illinois State Board of Elections and attempted to do the same in Arizona. The systems targeted were not involved in vote tallying. Critical infrastructure are things like power grids that the federal government is given a duty to protect in the national interest.

Manfra disagreed with Johnson's statement and said that all states have taken the threat of hacking seriously. "There's pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled". Until the truth is known about the Trump/Russia relationship, and Russia's role in the 2016 election, Trump will occupy the White House under a cloud of illegitimacy.

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