For obvious reasons, Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for a total review of New York State’s electronic voting security. According to a report by The Hill, the request follows growing concerns of cybersecurity breaches by the Russian government during the 2016 election.
The Hill reports that Cuomo is asking the state cybersecurity board, state tech agencies, and local governments to work together to inspect voting security and add additional measures if necessary. Cybersecurity data shows that over 50% of breaches happen through web applications, yet less than 10% of organizations take measures to address these weak spots. Through this new initiative, the state government hopes to ensure stronger voter security and electoral integrity.
“The integrity of the electoral system is essential to a functioning democracy, and with those core American principles under attack, we must take decisive action to safeguard democratic integrity and expand voting rights,” Cuomo said in a statement, according to The Hill.
U.S. intelligence officials released an unclassified report in January detailing the suspected Russian effort to influence the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump. Cuomo said in a statement that his recent state measure was sparked by this same issue.
“In the absence of a concerted federal response, New York State is stepping up to ensure we are prepared for the serious cyber threats facing our electoral system,” he said.
Because many years of voter data is not yet available electronically, the way state governments will handle this security is changing. While 80% of companies reported saving money by moving to cloud storage, governmental use of electronic data storage creates new opportunities for interception. And with more states using computers to store voter data, Cuomo is also resisting the Trump administration’s request to investigate this data.
Newsday reports that the governor is not allowing Trump’s voter integrity commission to obtain New York voter statistics in an investigation of alleged voter fraud. Cuomo is just one of the many state officials pushing back at this request, which demanded access to voter names, addresses, birth dates, party affiliations, and even voting history.
Cuomo said in a statement that the voter fraud allegations are a “myth” that New York State will not be perpetuating, according to Newsday.
“We will not be complying with this request and I encourage the Election Commission to work on issues of vital importance to voters, including ballot access, rather than focus on debunked theories of voter fraud.”
Rather, the state government will be focusing on tightening voter security through Cuomo’s order. According to The Hill, the state’s cybersecurity advisory board will be reviewing the voting cybersecurity investigation in 90 days.