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Elections director says Russia declared war on Illinois

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

* Fox News

The Russians attacked Illinois, and now authorities vow to protect the state.

“In a sense, it’s a declaration of war. It’s a cyberwar,” said Steve Sandvoss, executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections.

“When a foreign government attacks your system, obviously you know they are up to no good,” he told Fox News. “Elections being a central part of our democracy, being attacked by a foreign government I think everybody in the country should be concerned about that.” […]

State officials said up to 80,000 voter registration records were accessed. It turned out that the greatest concentration of breached files belonged to the residents of Galesburg. A total of 14,121 residents, or almost half of the city’s population, had their voter registration information compromised.

“I certainly don’t want to be on the front of any cyberwar,” Sandvoss said.” We are as prepared as we can be.”

* Tribune

The Fox News story also included an interview with state Sen. Michael Hastings of Tinley Park and pointed out his background as a West Point graduate who served 10 years in Iraq. Hastings is chairman of the House subcommittee on cybersecurity.

“I want to make sure that Illinois residents feel safe and secure in casting their vote for whatever candidate they choose, whoever that may be,” he said. “And having these investigations to provide the assurances to Illinois residents that our voter systems are secure, or will be secure, is of the utmost importance to me.”

Fox News did not point out that Hastings is a Democrat.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 9:43 am:

    What difference does it make what party Senator Hastings is?

    I am sure the integrity of voter data is a bipartisan issue and neither party wants Russian or Chinese meddling

  2. - Anon - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 9:44 am:

    When asked about this in 2016, good ol’ Mark Shaw deflected to Hillary’s emails. What a surprise Republicans lose in Illinois.

  3. - Sue - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 9:56 am:

    Are they calling up the Illinois national guard. This is pure grandstanding

  4. - Galena Guy - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 9:58 am:

    “What difference does it make what party Senator Hastings is?”

    Apparently it does to the Tribune…..

    And speaking of, has their hero in the Governor’s mansion done anything to ensure that Illinois elections are not tainted electronically by enemies both foreign and domestic?

  5. - Demoralized - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 9:58 am:

    ==This is pure grandstanding==

    Not concerned about election meddling are we? There aren’t enough strong words out there when talking about a foreign government intefering in our elections.

    Besides, he’s right.

  6. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    “We are as prepared as we can be.”

    Does this mean DuPage County ordered the right sized paper?

    – MrJM

  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    –Are they calling up the Illinois national guard. This is pure grandstanding–

    How? Do you think they’re making it up?

  8. - Texas Red - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    =Fox News did not point out that Hastings is a Democrat.

    It does now…”"There’s always room for improvement in terms of IT,” Democratic state Sen. Michael Hastings, chairman of the State Cyber Committee, insisted.”

  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    –Fox News did not point out that Hastings is a Democrat.–

    –What difference does it make what party Senator Hastings is?–

    Stating an officeholder’s party affiliation is first-day J-101.

    Believe it or not, national Fox News occasionally questions the patriotism of those who they believe aren’t on their team. Perhaps a West Point grad and veteran concerned about national security who’s a Democrat didn’t fit the company line.

  10. - Sue - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    Demoralized- not that it’s ok for meddling but it’s somewhat rediculous how worked up the Coontry is over this given that the USA/CIA May have written the book on meddling in elections. Put in got revenge on HEC for what he believed was her meddling in Russia’a 2012 election and Obama’s himself enlisted his political arm Obama for America to try and undermine the election in Israel when Bibi was running for re-election. Better we focus on unifying the Country as opposed to relitigating the 16 election for the next few years

  11. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    Sue, I’ll take that with same amount of thoughtfulness and consideration you obviously put into it before posting it.

  12. - DuPage - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 11:23 am:

    Take all the election related computers off the internet entirely. Hook them on to a highly secure intranet.

  13. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    The sorry state of American voting machine security as of 10/10/2017:

    What has been done to secure the system since then?

  14. - The Integrity of Sandvoss - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 12:33 pm:

    If Sandvoss is on the front for any battle, we are all in trouble. How is this guy in charge of SBE and why isn’t he responsible for the breach? It happened on his watch.

  15. - James Knell - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 12:34 pm:

    Any chance the toilets in the Kremlin are connected to the “internet of things.”

  16. - Demoralized - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 1:22 pm:


    You’re shrugging off interference by a foreign government in our elections like it’s no big deal. It’r ridiculous to get worked up about that? It’s ridiculous not to.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with re-litigating an election and everything to do with ensuring the integrity of our elections.

    You’re attempting to turn this into something political when it isn’t. It concerns me that anyone would be so dismissive of something this serious.

  17. - Techie - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 1:48 pm:

    If Illinois lawmakers are serious about the integrity of our elections, they’ll do away with electronic voting machines altogether and replace them with paper ballots. There is documentation on just how vulnerable many voting machines are. Even a machine currently deemed safe would, like all technology, need to be patched/updated frequently to protect against new cyber threats.

    Using paper ballots would simply be safer and easier. It will take longer to count the results, but I’ll sacrifice speed for accuracy when it comes to my vote.

  18. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    ==It concerns me that anyone would be so dismissive of something this serious.==

    Demoralized, it concerns me that you would expect better from Sue. You’ve been here for quite a while, havent you read any of his/her posts? Next you’ll be expecting the Luckybot 6000 program to write a thoughtful, reasoned post without using the word “Madigan”.

  19. - 35/Shields - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    “…a West Point graduate who served 10 years in Iraq.”

    Am I reading this right? If Sen. Hastings served 10 YEARS in Iraq he’s broken every record in the book for overseas deployments. Only the finest copy editing from Fox News.

  20. - Sue - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    Demoralizing - if your so concerned about ensuring the integrity of our elections- show some outrage at mayor Rahm’s new muni ID cards which I guarantee will be used when registering non- citizens to vote in our elections. As we all know the cards can be used to register and rely on the honor system. It’s been pretty well established that the interference all of the Dems are concerned about didn’t impact any votes

  21. - Mama - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 4:53 pm:

    “What has been done to secure the system since then?”

    TinyDancer, nothing has been done.

  22. - Mama - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 4:55 pm:

    Sue, you must be what they call ’special’.

  23. - Demoralized - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 4:56 pm:


    It’s apparent you don’t get it. You’re chasing squirrels instead of focusing on the topic at hand which is the integrity of our election system.

    Stop with your political nonsense. This has nothing to do with politics no matter how much you try to make it that way.

    Get your face out of the political talking points for once.

  24. - Demoralized - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 5:00 pm:

    ==It’s been pretty well established that the interference all of the Dems are concerned about didn’t impact any votes==

    Yes, because it’s ok if the Russians hacked us so long as it didn’t affect the outcome of the elections. What’s that saying? Ignorance is bliss. You must be very blissful.

  25. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 15, 18 @ 11:40 pm:

    –Better we focus on unifying the Country as opposed to relitigating the 16 election for the next few years–

    Or, maybe, work to keep the Russian saboteurs out of our business. And determine if there were any American co-conspirators.

    Because that would be against the law.

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