State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s report of a National Security Agency (NSA) analysis finding that Russian military intelligence engaged in phishing attacks to gain login credentials of election officials and access to U.S. voting systems.

“I am very disturbed by the NSA analysis that was reported on yesterday. The claims made in the report are exactly what I have raised in legislative committee hearings as we have heard bill after bill changing and weakening our voting system. The claims in that report are why I called last September for Secretary Husted to accept the help offered by the United States Department of Homeland Security in securing our voting systems. He refused, instead choosing to grandstand in shortsighted defiance of President Obama’s administration.

“Hacks into voter registration systems could be a danger to Ohio’s elections because voters can be marked as having voted or even removed from the rolls. This could cause chaos, long lines, more provisional ballots, and more votes being thrown out. In addition, claims that voting systems are safe because they are not connected to the internet miss the point. There are other ways to gain access to vulnerable systems and introduce malicious software, especially when our state officials aren’t doing all they can to assist our county election professionals and protect our voting infrastructure.

“The only way to secure our election system is to make sure every eligible citizen who wants to can cast a ballot, that those ballots are counted, and that the result is fair, transparent, and verifiable. I’ll be following this story as it develops and will work to make sure Ohio is doing everything possible to protect our voters and their votes.”

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