A day after urging elections officials to shore up their systems ahead of the midterm voting, the Senate Intelligence Committee planned to call top federal and state elections security officials to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to explain how they are trying to protect ballots from being hacked.
It is already proving to be an exceedingly difficult challenge. America’s intelligence agencies are still grappling with how to neutralize Russian disinformation campaigns more than a year after concluding that Moscow sought to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. And federal and state officials are struggling to close obvious gaps in the country’s election infrastructure, such as requiring the use of voting machines that leave a trail of paper ballots and more secure logins to voting databases.
Such practical matters were the focus of a set of recommendations that the Senate committee released on Tuesday, and were to be a central subject at Wednesday’s hearing. The main witnesses scheduled to appear were Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland security, and Jeh Johnson, who served in the post under President Barack Obama during the 2016 election.