by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Richard Pollock of the Daily Caller reports on the Obama administration’s decision not to tell 21 states that the Russian government was hacking their election systems.
State election officials still don’t know which 21 of their jurisdictions Russian hackers targeted, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.
Secretaries of state — who are the top election officials in 40 states — told TheDCNF they were shocked to learn of the Russian hacking when Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials first divulged it at a June 21, 2017, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing.
“We can’t find any secretaries of state who say they have been told they are part of this list of ‘targeted’ states.” said a spokeswoman for the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), which is the oldest nonpartisan professional organization for public officials, representing top state election officials in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
The testimony of Jeanette Manfra, acting deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity and communications at DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate, before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence stunned NAAS.
“We have evidence of election-related systems in 21 states that were targeted,” she said.
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, a Republican from Vice President Mike Pence’s home state, said she was shocked to learn of the hacking during the hearing and incredulous that federal officials have provided no further information.
“Well it is extraordinary and is somewhat ridiculous,” Lawson said. “It’s frustration beyond belief. I have never heard from any secretaries of state and I believe that NASS has not heard either from any secretary that they have been told that their state was one the states that was targeted during the 2016 election,” she said.