WASHINGTON — Russian agents attempted to breach election systems in 21 states in 2016, and remain intent on disrupting future elections.
- 1st volume dedicated to Russian efforts against election infrastructure
- Says federal government did not give states enough information in 2016
- No evidence any votes were changed, concerns about voter registration databases
- READ: Report on Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 Election (.pdf)
That’s according to the first volume of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s newly-released report into Russia’s attempts to interfere with the 2016 elections.
The report reiterates what has been said many times since the 2016 election – that the Russian government launched a coordinated effort to break through America’s election infrastructure, including attacks on state election systems.
Moreover, the Senate concluded that while federal agencies did notify states regarding the Russian threat in the summer and fall of 2016, neither the FBI nor the Dept. of Homeland Security provided enough information or went to the proper people.
"It illustrates the threat that we face, the tactics used by Russia, and makes strong recommendations about what states and local governments need to be doing to prepare against future attacks," said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.
The report says there’s no evidence any votes were changed in the 2016 election.
However, there is a concern that Russia breached voter registration databases. The problem is it had limited data from local governments to be able to assess the extent of that effort.
The report mentions that at least one Florida county’s network was breached through a spear phishing email, and agents were also able to infiltrate an election technology company, VR Systems, and that is also hampering that assessment
The report also recommended Congress evaluate the results of millions of dollars in election security grants awarded to the states in 2018.
Florida’s share of that money was $19.2 million. As Spectrum News reported last month, the state disbursed the money to its counties, but because of restrictions and a tight time limit, the counties had to return $1.4 million.
Earlier this month the state approved another round of election security money from that grant to 55 counties, $2.3 million.
The Senate Intelligence Committee will release more volumes of this report late this year.