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Elections

Secretary Of State Questions What Feds' Labeling Of Elections Systems As "Critical" Could Mean

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Karen Kasler
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Secretary of State Jon Husted talks to reporters the night before the November 2016 election.

Worries about hacking and cybercrime resulted in the federal Department of Homeland Security naming voting machines and elections systems around the country as “critical infrastructure”, and therefore eligible for more federal help to protect them. But Ohio’s secretary of state has some concerns.

Jon Husted said he’s not sure what this designation from Homeland Security means – and whether it gives the federal government authority to do something that it didn’t have power to do before. So he wants information in writing. “I don’t want to underreact or overreact to something, but until they give us the facts, I think that it’s wise to be skeptical about what this really means,” Husted said.

Husted said he and his colleagues in other states would oppose any federal takeover of state elections. And Husted said he’s not sure why the Obama administration would do this now, since there’s no federal election till 2018. But he notes that President-Elect Trump’s Homeland Security department could overrule it.

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