Hood pushes election security improvements

Attorney General Jim Hood, along with a bipartisan coalition of 21 attorneys general, wrote to congressional leaders urging them to improve American cyber security and protect the integrity of the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

According to Hood, the letter comes after a recent investigation found Russian hackers targeted the American electoral system, stole the private information of hundreds of thousands of people, and infiltrated a company that supplies voting software across the nation, putting the upcoming elections at serious risk.

The coalition of AGs urged three steps in addressing election security concerns:

  • Prioritize and act on election-security legislation, including the Secure Elections Act (S.2261) currently before the Senate;
  • Increase funding for the Election Assistance Commission to support election security improvements at the state level and to protect the personal data of the voters of our states
  • Support the development of cybersecurity standards for voting systems to prevent potential future foreign attacks.

“This is a vital issue for Mississippi, as we are considered one of 14 states vulnerable to election hacking,” said General Hood. “Our state’s lack of a paper trail due to electronic ballots is a large concern and makes us susceptible to foreign infiltration by use of voting machines, which are computers. Unfortunately, implementing the proper cybersecurity and updating voting mechanisms can be a great cost. It is my hope that Congress will recognize the urgency of sufficient funding to achieve these improvements to protect our democracy.”

Ahead of the primary elections in June, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann stated that there had been nearly 3,000 attempts to access voter information in Mississippi, but none were successful.

In addition to Mississippi, this coalition includes attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, The District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.