Politics

Top Despite claims from a US cyber official that state authorities are “pleased” with US assistance in securing the election, some election managers disagree.

One of the top cybersecurity authorities in the country said that state election workers in Wisconsin and Michigan had expressed their “pleasure” with the federal government’s cooperation in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections, despite claims to the contrary from certain state officials.

Alex Marquardt of MINIECHAT questioned Jen Easterly, the head of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, on Saturday about state officials in Wisconsin and Michigan who claim they don’t get enough federal support for election and personnel security.

Easterly said, “I was just in Michigan and Wisconsin last week,” noting that she had meetings with Meagan Wolfe, the administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, and Jocelyn Benson, the secretary of state for Michigan.

She affirmed that there are funding available for state and local authorities to improve their electoral infrastructure, saying she “asked whether they were receiving everything they needed from us” and added that “they were really delighted with what we’ve been giving.”

It is occasionally a “breakdown where states will get the cash and they won’t make it to the localities,” according to Benson, who added, “that then makes it tougher for us to acquire the federal funding in subsequent rounds because it doesn’t always reach where it needs to go.”

We appreciate the government help that has been offered, but it’s just not enough, Benson said in answer to a question from Marquardt on Saturday on Easterly’s response.

In many respects, Benson said, “we are more financed and equipped than we were in 2020. But the difficulties we face are becoming worse. Therefore, looking ahead there will be a need for a consistent flow of resources.

Nothing is flagged to platforms by us.
On Saturday, Easterly said that social media platforms are responsible for battling misinformation, highlighting the fact that CISA is “extremely worried about misinformation from foreign actors.”

To be clear, Easterly stated, “We do not flag anything to platforms regarding misinformation or disinformation. According to their terms of service and how they enforce them, “it is totally up to those platforms.”

“We concentrate on those state and local election officials who are most knowledgeable about their voting infrastructure,” she said. Their voices as respected voices are truly being amplified by us.

Meagan Wolfe, the executive director of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, recently told MINIECHAT that having “an official backing from our federal partners in rectifying” false and misleading material about voting is “very critical.” And compared to the time of the 2020 election, I believe they are giving less support today.

People “should have trust in the integrity of the election,” according to Easterly.

Easterly stated, “We are working very, very closely with state and local election officials to make sure they have everything they need on Tuesday to conduct safe and secure elections, but we have no information regarding specific or serious threats to disrupt or damage election equipment.

Michigan’s fight against intimidation
“We are at a pivotal point where there will — and has been potential plans in place — to try and challenge voters eligibility on Election Day, and otherwise intimidate them, as a way to promote a political strategy to impact democracy,” Benson, the Michigan Secretary of State and election administrator, told Marquardt.

Benson said she met with the Wayne County sheriff on Saturday to talk about voter intimidation in the Detroit metropolitan region. Her family had been subjected to harassment during the 2020 elections.

According to Benson, “we have people ready to react promptly to anybody who attempts to intimidate any voters,” and “we will hold them responsible if and when that occurs.”

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