Officials Say Oklahoma Elections Not Hit By Russian Hackers

Friday, June 23rd 2017, 2:48 am
By: News 9

Oklahoma election officials say the state’s voting systems weren’t targeted by the Russian government last year despite evidence showing more than 20 other states were targeted.

Oklahoma State Election Board spokesman Bryan Dean told The Oklahoman that there weren’t any attempts to access Oklahoma’s election systems.

“We do believe our voting system is as secure as any you’ll find,” Dean said.

The state’s optical scan system lets Oklahoma quickly count ballots but also verify them through the state’s paper ballots if needed, said Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“For 25 years, the Oklahoma election system has had a paper ballot and an optical scan,” he said. “It has been a very good backup for us.”

Oklahoma Election officials met with the Department of Homeland Security last year to go over an array of cybersecurity options, Dean said.

“If we needed more assistance, we would have asked for it,” he said.

No system connected to the internet is entirely hack-proof, and the election board is looking at ways to improve security, Dean said.

Jeanette Manfra, an acting deputy undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that there is evidence that election systems in 21 states were targeted by Russian agents.

Federal officials haven’t listed the states affected, but said election officers in those states have been notified.

There’s no evidence that votes were altered, and the hacking efforts were largely aimed at obtaining voter registration information, Manfra said.