This news comes only months after Obama told reporters at a press conference that elections aren’t rigged because states run elections,”Federal government doesn’t run the election process.”
In a stunning last minute power grab by the Obama administration with just 14 days left in his Presidency, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement this evening officially declaring state election systems to be “critical infrastructure.” The statement from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson defines “election infrastructure” as “storage facilities, polling places, centralized vote tabulations locations, voter registration databases, voting machines” and all “other systems” to manage the election process…so pretty much everything.
I have determined that election infrastructure in this country should be designated as a subsector of the existing Government Facilities critical infrastructure sector. Given the vital role elections play in this country, it is clear that certain systems and assets of election infrastructure meet the definition of critical infrastructure, in fact and in law.
I have reached this determination so that election infrastructure will, on a more formal and enduring basis, be a priority for cybersecurity assistance and protections that the Department of Homeland Security provides to a range of private and public sector entities. By “election infrastructure,” we mean storage facilities, polling places, and centralized vote tabulations locations used to support the election process, and information and communications technology to include voter registration databases, voting machines, and other systems to manage the election process and report and display results on behalf of state and local governments.
Of course, it’s likely not a coincidence that the DHS made this announcement just hours after the “intelligence community” declassified their “Russian Hacking” propaganda which basically noted that RT has a very effective social media distribution platform while once again providing absolutely no actual evidence. –Zero Hedge
In a letter to the Associated Press, Johnson revealed the US government would monitor and intervene in future elections, a process previously handled on a state-by-state basis.
“Given the vital role elections play in this country, it is clear that certain systems and assets of election infrastructure meet the definition of critical infrastructure, in fact and in law,” Johnson stated. “Particularly in these times, this designation is simply the right and obvious thing to do.”
The designation “allows for information to be withheld from the public when state, local and private partners meet to discuss election infrastructure security – potentially injecting secrecy into an election process that’s traditionally and expressly a transparent process,” according to the AP.
“U.S. officials say such closed door conversations allow for frank discussion that would prevent bad actors from learning about vulnerabilities. DHS would also be able to grant security clearances when appropriate and provide more detailed threat information to states.”
The announcement of a federal takeover of the electoral process follows a report from several intelligence agencies also released Friday which purports the Russian government worked to influence the outcome of the 2016 US election.
The AP reports several states in recent months opposed the move fearing “the designation would lead to increased federal regulation or oversight on the many decentralized and locally run voting systems across the country.”
During a press conference in August 2016, Barack Obama mocked Trump’s concerns that the elections could possibly be rigged against him. He mocked Trump’s concerns, and used the idea that states controlled the elections as the reason American voters didn’t need to be concerned about voter fraud.
At least one member of the US Election Infrastructure Cybersecurity Working Group, Georgia Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp, stated he opposed the measure claiming “more federal oversight could make systems more vulnerable and could make protected records more accessible,” the AP writes.
Kemp reportedly called the move “a federal overreach into a sphere constitutionally reserved for the states” on a conference call with Johnson Thursday, and said the designation “smacks of partisan politics.”
Examples of election infrastructure include storage facilities, voter registration databases, voting locations, voting machines and other systems designed to manage the election process, the AP notes. For entire story: Infowars
So, what about the firewalls the DHS hacked without the permission or knowledge of several Secretary of State’s offices across America during our most recent elections? Are we supposed to somehow trust the same Federal government agency that hacked these Sec of State’s computers during the election without their knowledge to ensure legitimate election results?
Could it be the Democrats fear they’ll never win another election and this is their Hail Mary?
December 18, 2016 – Georgia’s secretary of state has claimed the Department of Homeland Security tried to breach his office’s firewall and has issued a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson asking for an explanation.
Brian Kemp issued a letter to Johnson on Thursday after the state’s third-party cybersecurity provider detected an IP address from the agency’s Southwest D.C. office trying to penetrate the state’s firewall. According to the letter, the attempt was unsuccessful.
And now, Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Aaron Diamond has learned two more states’ election agencies have confirmed suspected cyberattacks linked to the same U.S. Department of Homeland Security IP address as last month’s massive attack in Georgia.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp recently told Politico it is nothing more than an attempt to “subvert the Constitution to achieve the goal of federalizing elections under the guise of security.”
During an earlier interview with the site Nextgov, Kemp warned: “The question remains whether the federal government will subvert the Constitution to achieve the goal of federalizing elections under the guise of security.” Kemp told POLITICO he sees a “clear motivation from this White House” to expand federal control, citing Obama’s health care law, the Dodd-Frank financial-reform legislation and the increased role of the Education Department in local schools.
To some election officials, this sounds like the first stage of a more intrusive plan.
“I think it’s kind of the nose under the tent,” said Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, a Democrat. “What I think a lot of folks get concerned about [is] when the federal government says, ‘Well, look, we’re not really interested in doing that, but we just want to give you this,’ and then all of a sudden this leads to something else.”
Meanwhile, Kemp continued on by noting that “this administration only has 15 days left in its term” and to make such a critical decision during the 11th hour “smacks of partisan politics.”
But we’re sure it’s nothing, Obama doesn’t really strike us as the type to play the “partisan politics” game. –Zero Hedge