Top state election and cybersecurity officials have warned about the threat posed by Russia and other foreign adversaries in the run-up to the 2024 elections, noting that America’s decentralized system of thousands of local voting jurisdictions creates a particular vulnerability.
Speaking at the annual gathering of the National Association of Secretaries of State, the officials highlighted the meddling by Russia and Iran in previous elections and the attempts to tap into internet-connected electronic voter databases.
They warned that U.S. foes are likely to be more active as the next presidential election season draws near, with China also a possible source of election interference.
The decentralized nature of the U.S. election system has emerged as a key concern, with some 10,000 local voting jurisdictions throughout the U.S. lacking the funding for new equipment, proper staffing, or updated training of election workers.
Cybersecurity officials are seeking to provide “target-rich, cyber-poor” entities with the money and expertise they need. Several secretaries of state have called for additional federal funding for local election offices, which have had to deal with harassment and threats since 2020.
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