Govs. Jay Inslee and Andrew Cuomo sent a letter early today to President Donald Trump asking him to denounce Russia’s interference with U.S. elections and strengthen sanctions. The governors say Russian interference is “an imminent national security threat that transcends party lines” and it falls to the states to ensure “that every vote is protected and counted.”
“Never, in the course of our nation's history, has a president sided with a foreign adversary—one responsible for a coordinated attack on our free and open elections— over our own U.S. intelligence community,” Inslee and Cuomo wrote. “As governors, we remain committed to protecting our states’ election systems. There is nothing more fundamental to the enduring success of our American democracy, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the integrity and security of our elections.
“We call on you to stand with the American people and lead by denouncing the Russian government’s assault on the fundamental and basic right of Americans to elect their leaders without interference. We call on you to enforce and strengthen sanctions against Russia and hold them accountable for their continued attacks. Lastly, we call on you to support strong congressional action to help states secure our elections and protect our democracy from Russian cyberattacks.”
Washington state was one of 21 states targeted by Russian hackers in the 2016 elections. No evidence was found to indicate attempts were successful or election results were compromised. Washington state has a decentralized election system operated by individual counties. Because Washington is a vote-by-mail state, paper ballots provide a way to recount results. The Secretary of State’s office has numerous security protocols in place, and recently the state’s National Guard’s nationally-known cybersecurity team agreed to work with state election officials to further shore up election security ahead of the 2018 election.
Full text of the letter is available here: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/CybersecurityLetter.pdf