The 2018 Midterms Weren’t Hacked. What Does That Mean For 2020?

Leading up to Nov. 6, 2018, anyone with a stake in American democracy was holding their breath. After a Russian effort leading up to 2016 to sow chaos and polarization, and to degrade confidence in American institutions, what sort of widespread cyberattack awaited the voting system in the first national election since? None, it seems.

“We didn’t see any coordinated effort or targeting that interrupted the elections process,” said Matt Masterson, a senior cybersecurity adviser at the Department of Homeland Security. “[Nothing] that prevented folks from voting or compromised election systems in any way … certainly nowhere close to what we saw in 2016.” Experts say that is not because U.S. election systems are hardened in a way that prevents such attacks.

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