What can be done about this?
At a minimum, the election administration community should perform an “after action” audit of the 2016 episode and examine how the federal and state government performed in emergency conditions and how this collaboration can be improved. Senior officials have concluded that the Russians will keep up their nasty work: this is not the last of the elections they will hope to influence or disrupt. The Putin regime’s own “after action” report would have to take cheerful note of the conflict that immediately arose between the federal and state government over how to respond.
Any such “after action” deliberation should be public, perhaps in multiple venues, which is the best way to assure accountability. The Presidential Commission on Election Administration’s overall experience with the election administration community suggests that its experienced, professional leadership, in both parties, would look closely and responsibly at this problem. Peer pressure can help to discourage or limit the spread of irresponsible behavior like Secretary Kemp’s.