State of Elections

William & Mary Law School | Election Law Society

Tag: Russian Hacking

Virginia Awarded a $9 Million Grant to Improve Election Security, Has Yet to Spend a Dime

By: Chelsea West

The November 6th midterm elections will soon be upon us and U.S. voters are preparing to go to the polls. Federal, state, and local officials are preparing as well. While voters are debating which candidates to elect, government officials are rigorously working to beef up election security. They intend to do all they can to make sure everyone who is eligible has the opportunity to cast a ballot and that those votes are counted correctly.

Election security is on the forefront of conversation regarding the upcoming November elections. There exist many fears among U.S. intelligence and security officials over possible hacking or cyber-attacks. These fears increased after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security both accused Russia of orchestrating an operation to hack into the emails of U.S. political organizations and selectively release them to the public.

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Protecting the “Purity” of Maryland’s Elections

By: Drew Marvel

In 2013, the State of Maryland entered into a five-year, $7.5 million procurement contract with ByteGrid LLC, a company specializing in computer systems, data management, and software engineering. The deal outsourced, among other things, many of the State Board of Elections’ online systems and election data, including the state-wide voter registration and candidacy platform, the election-management system, the online ballot-delivery system, and the site which reports the unofficial results on election night. All of these election systems, and the voter information and data associated with them, are now housed and stored on servers owned and operated by ByteGrid LLC.

What Maryland officials didn’t know was that in 2015 ByteGrid LLC was quietly acquired by Altpoint Capital Partners, a financing company whose principal investor is Vladimir Potanin, a wealthy Russian oligarch linked to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.

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Passing Your Vote Through Security:  The Rise of Risk Limiting Audits in Rhode Island 

By: Eric Lynch

In the 2016 election’s aftermath, United States intelligence agencies speculated that the Russian government hacked various government entities and the major political parties in order to influence the election’s results. It was recently confirmed that twenty-one  states were subject to that foreign attack. Experts cautioned states to take responsive measures since many states take little to no precaution at all.  

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