Homeland Security to Take Over Elections

votesecurity

The Lexington Libertarian has been writing for years that many American voting machines are subject to hacking and manipulation. We have tried to create awareness that these voting machines are very vulnerable, THAT STATES should consider providing them with protection against malware and manipulation just like we protect our home computers with anti virus, anti malware and firewall programs. We have also recommended that States buy newer more updated machines. And lastly, that voting machines be inspected and certified every year.

Now if the Federal Government wants to help with providing money to the states to accomplish these ends, all well and good. But , as the typical Liberal/Left Democrat always does, the solution is federal control. The election process is a state process. Federalizing the election process is un-Constitutional. But then, when has Obama ever let that stop him. The problem becomes more acute when we put our trust in Federal Bureaucrats and Democrat politicians who will win at any cost and use any means for victory. The closer you keep the process to the people, the easier it is for the people to control the process, not the government. And aren’t elections really all about WE THE PEOPLE?

The Federalist Papers reports:

 

The federal government may be taking over the election process, in an attempt that started before the recent hacks of state election boards and has since been spurred on by the threat.

The Washington Examiner reported that the Department of Homeland Security is considering taking control of elections by declaring them “critical infrastructure.”

This declaration would afford the department a level of control over election security that is akin to the control they already have over Wall Street and the electric power grid.

The federal government never wastes a good crisis to gain more power, and this is no exception. Officials are already talking about speeding up the process in the wake of election cyber attacks:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, “We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process, is critical infrastructure like the financial sector, like the power grid.”

“There’s a vital national interest in our election process, so I do think we need to consider whether it should be considered by my department and others critical infrastructure,” Johnson said at a media conference held this month by the Christian Science Monitor.

The DHS website describes critical infrastructure:

“There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”

Johnson went on to discuss the lack of a federal election system and seemed to decry the fact that control is in the hands of individual jurisdictions:

“There’s no one federal election system. There are some 9,000 jurisdictions involved in the election process. There’s a national election for president, there are some 9,000 jurisdictions that participate, contribute to collecting votes, tallying votes and reporting votes.”

According to a White House Policy Directive: “The federal government also has a responsibility to strengthen the security and resilience of its own critical infrastructure, for the continuity of national essential functions, and to organize itself to partner effectively with and add value to the security and resilience efforts of critical infrastructure owners and operators.”

It may or may not be true that elections should be designated as “critical infrastructure”…however, whenever the federal government attempts to gain more control, people should be wary.

voter fraud 33

American Thinker adds:

Homeland Security readying contingency plan to take over election security

The Department of Homeland Security is mulling an option to declare elections a “critical infrastructure” of the United States, which would allow them a certain amount of control of the election process.

The plan is short on specifics.  But if it is determined that the integrity of the ballot is at risk, theoretically, DHS could go so far as to take control of electronic voting machines and the counting process – anything that would be at risk of being hacked.

Washington Examiner:

“We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process, is critical infrastructure like the financial sector, like the power grid,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said.

“There’s a vital national interest in our election process, so I do think we need to consider whether it should be considered by my department and others critical infrastructure,” he said at media conference earlier this month hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

DHS has a vital security role in 16 areas of critical infrastructure and they provide a model for what the department and Johnson could have in mind for the election.

DHS describes it this way on their website: “There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”

A White House policy directive adds, “The federal government also has a responsibility to strengthen the security and resilience of its own critical infrastructure, for the continuity of national essential functions, and to organize itself to partner effectively with and add value to the security and resilience efforts of critical infrastructure owners and operators.”

At the time, Johnson did not mention specific security issues, but the FBI has since cited one hack and another attempt.

Johnson also said that the big issue at hand is that there isn’t a central election system since the states run elections. “There’s no one federal election system. There are some 9,000 jurisdictions involved in the election process,” Johnson said.

A federal takeover of elections presents an enormous challenge and one big roadblock: it’s unconstitutional.  Of course, that’s actually a small matter for the Obama administration, which views the constitution as something to be gotten around, not followed.

Even if they could justify the assimilation of the election process because of national security, the bureaucratic nightmare of guarding and regulating not just the 9,000 electoral jurisdictions, but also the more than 300,000 precincts – any one of which could be a gateway for hackers – is almost certainly physically impossible.

One possible solution would be to go low-tech – few electronic machines, no internet, hand-counting of ballots, etc.  It would draw out the reporting of results, but that’s a small price to pay to maintain the integrity of the vote.

I know the conspiracy-mongers will have a field day with this – an inevitable result of no one trusting the government to get it right.  But by necessity, states will still have a great deal of control over the process, leaving DHS with a reduced role – something little more than an advisory capacity.

The best solution would be for DHS to keep their hands off the process entirely, but come up with a plan to electronically safeguard the election that states can implement.  There’s still time to prepare for a cyber-attack on the elections, but we’ve got to get started today to make it happen.

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