Communication is key in regards to election meddling

By Jared Sellick, Columnist
On April 20, 2019

The release of the Mueller report resulted in predictable partisan backlash, but the findings made in regard to election meddling in Florida should concern all voters regardless of party affiliation.

The Special Council’s report on Russian interference released by the Department of Justice on Thursday claimed, “We understand the FBI believes that this operation enabled [Russian military intelligence] to gain access to the network of at least one Florida county government.”

The Mueller report raised a lot of questions in regards to the way President Donald Trump has conducted himself. The report highlights how Trump repeatedly attempted to interfere or stop the Russia investigation.

The question of what the next steps should be after the release of this report is a subject of debate, but one thing shouldn’t be up for discussion.

We must protect our local information from foreign actors.

What is so astonishing about the claims made in the Mueller report is the fact that the information breach seemed to go unnoticed by the Florida state government.

A number of Floridian departments and officials have expressed their surprise at this news.

This includes the Florida Department of State which released a statement Thursday that claimed, “Upon learning of the new information released in the Mueller report, the Department immediately reached out to the FBI to inquire which county may have been accessed, and they declined to share this information with us,” according to NPR.

President of the Florida State Association of Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux said he “hadn’t heard even a whisper,” from federal investigators, according to an interview with NPR.

There appears to be a level of disconnect between federal investigators and the local governments in charge of protecting our elections.

There may not be a lot of agreement in the country on what we should take away from the Mueller report but the report seems to highlight the lack of communication between federal investigators and local government.

If we are to properly protect our elections, we need to be equipped with the knowledge of where our protection is weakest.

 

Jared Sellick is a junior majoring in political science.

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