Today the New York Times Opinion pages offered an editorial titled ‘Combating the Real Threat to Election integrity’. Authored by the Times Editorial Board the essay has two faults. One is that it continues to pile on the story that the Russian Government is responsible for cyber attacks aimed at the United States electoral system. The second perhaps more glaring fault is that the United States Federal government should somehow pay for securing the voting infrastructure to be used in future elections.
The Times Editorial Board attribution of various cyber attacks to the Russian government is just plain wrong. While various unnamed sources in the United states Intelligence Agencies (we are told by the US Media) have evidence that the Russian Government is responsible for these attacks; I’ve not read any report from any credible Internet security specialist that ca provide hard evidence to back these claims.
Suggesting that the US Federal government pay to secure the electoral system is wrong. A vote is the right of every US citizen. Sadly, slightly better than half choose to exercise this right. However the US voting system is structured so that citizens vote where they live. Local election officials should bear the responsibility of securing elections. Providing them with financing care of the Federal government is a mistake in that those local officials would not be accountable to the source of the funds. Local election officials and local governments should bear the cost of securing the vote and be accountable to local citizens.
What is needed from the US Federal government are standards regarding cyber security and the electoral process that local election officials can both understand and implement.