Report: All 50 States Have Requested Help to Thwart Election Hackers

voting booth
November 8, 2016

Each of the 50 states has reportedly reached out to the Department of Homeland Security for help with security at the polls, amid increased worries about Election Day hacks.

All states have asked the department to provide help in securing computer networks or voting machines, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday, citing a DHS official. Federal officials have offered to help state and local officials by scanning networks and checking for security weaknesses.

Officials have been wary about the possible use of cyber attacks to interfere with the elections after the intelligence community formally accused the Russian government of directing hacks into systems used by U.S. individuals and organizations in an attempt to influence the presidential election, which will be decided on Tuesday.

The number of states asking for help has steadily increased over several weeks. CNN reported at the end of October that 46 states had reached out to DHS for help warding off cyber attacks, an increase from 33 states earlier that month.

Over 20 states have weathered attempts by hackers to infiltrate their voting registration systems or other databases related to the elections, including breaches of voter databases in Arizona and Illinois during the summer.

Officials have also warned of the possibility of Russian hackers posting documents online as purported evidence of voter fraud in an attempt to undermine the results of the election.

The U.S. intelligence community in October tied the Russian government to the hack of the Democratic National Committee computer system that resulted in troves of embarrassing emails being leaked online ahead of the party's convention. Russian officials have characterized the accusations as baseless.