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.
Read moreI 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.