The question as to whether or not the U.S. mid-term elections are secure from cyberattack or outside influence will be answered in a few short hours, but in the runup to the polls opening Tuesday morning, several events have happened to help bolster security and give voters confidence in the electoral system.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) has activated and placed the state’s National Guard cyber response team on standby status. This will allow the unit to quickly respond to any cybersecurity incident that takes place during the election. Wisconsin joined the Illinois National Guard and the Washington Air National Guard, which announced last month that cybersecurity personnel from each state would be poised to help on Election Day.
“The Elections Commission remains the lead agency and the guard is standing by to support at their request. The Wisconsin National Guard cyber teams are ready to respond anywhere in the state to provide a number of capabilities including assisting and advising election officials in the cyber domain,” the Wisconsin National Guard public affairs office said in a statement.
On the federal level, the Pentagon has about 100 cyber troops who could be called in to support the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Election Day.
The DHS tomorrow will operate a war room where members of the intelligence community, political parties and others will gather.
“So as things evolve…we can respond,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at a recent Council on Foreign Affairs. “Many folks have clearance and those that don’t, we’ve made it clear, we will share. I won’t let clearances stand in the way.”
Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., also took to the air to help allay fears saying on Face the Nation that he believes the election is safe from potential foreign threats.
“I think we’ve made great progress, particularly at the individual polling stations and with the tabulations of votes. So I think people should vote with confidence," Warner said on CBS's "Face the Nation," according to The Hill.