by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Just a day before an estimated 100 million voters across the country cast ballots in the midterm elections, experts remain[ed] tense and concerned about the risk of foreign interference, vote hacking and fraud, in what they say is shaping up as a test of historic proportions for the integrity of America’s electoral systems.
Tuesday’s vote is seen as being critical to the remainder of President Trump’s time in office, and a measure of what U.S. officials have learned since the widespread problems of two years ago.
It is also the first major election since the Kremlin in 2016 engaged in what Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity official Jeanette Manfra told Congress was “a brazen, multifaceted influence campaign aimed at undermining public faith in our democratic process, generally and our election specifically.”
Unfolding amid the return of Cold War-style tensions with Russia and a bitterly divided political landscape, the latest polls show a broad popular concern that the federal government has not done nearly enough to fix things.
But while voter faith in Washington is low, on a more local level, election officials and voting security experts express confidence that efforts to seal vulnerabilities have made headway.
“Every state has improved their security since 2016,” said Maurice Turner, a senior technologist at the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology.