Federal vote-protection efforts lag ahead of first primaries

February 13, 2018 - 11:29 am

The first 2018 primaries are less than a month away, but federal efforts to help state and local election officials safeguard the vote have lagged.

Russian meddling in the 2016 election put local election organizations on the front lines of national security.

But they're still largely saddled with antiquated voting technology and lack funds to fix longstanding problems.

Just five of the 14 states that asked the Department of Homeland Security for detailed vulnerability assessments have so far gotten them.

A bipartisan team at Harvard's Kennedy School spent six months figuring out how to help and is now out with "playbooks" for election officials.

One instructs them to communicate threats to the public in real time. That doesn't come naturally to organizations that typically shun the spotlight.

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