Merrill: Connecticut's Election Systems Remain Secure

Oct 5, 2017

Connecticut’s secretary of the state says she’s wary of too much federal control of election systems. Denise Merrill says the states are currently in talks with the Department of Homeland Security over how much regulation should be imposed. 

Merrill told WNPR’s Where We Live the question has been raised after it was revealed that attempts were made from Russia to hack Connecticut and 20 other states.

“Security is not our only concern in elections," she cautioned. "Our concern is also the integrity of the election, the faith of the public in the process, and so when you start having a lot of nervousness about, you know, are we going to have federal officials monitoring certain polling places, I think that would cause a lot of problems.”

Merrill said although hackers with Russian IP addresses attempted to gain access to Connecticut’s voter rolls, they weren’t successful.

“We’re still not clear what it was all about," she said. "There was no attempt anywhere to actually alter data, that anyone knows about. So it’s still a puzzle. It may fit in with the narrative that says that Russians are interested in just kind of creating confusion. And that’s very, very effective quite frankly at this point in our history.”

She said it’s likely that in an effort to improve security, other states will rethink the use of touch screen voting machines, and return to systems that have paper ballots, so that there's a physical paper trail in the event of any inquiry into an election.