Editorial: Connecticut must remain vigilant in wake of hacks

Students wait in line to vote outside the Mansfield Community Center on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

Students wait in line to vote outside the Mansfield Community Center on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

On Sept. 29, it was reported in the Daily Campus that Connecticut was one of 21 states that was targeted by Russian hackers during the lead up to the 2016 election. States were informed by the Department of Homeland Security that the hack had been carried out. According to Connecticut’s Secretary of State, the hackers were stopped by the intrusion detection system and that there is no cause for concern. While it is great that there was no damage done by the hackers, it is important that everyone take the threat that was posed by them seriously.

This past election cycle, the country saw a rise in fake news on both sides of the aisle. This false information has created false narratives that unfortunately pulled the election away from the important issues and instead became a mess of “he said, she said” as both candidates attacked each other during the debate. The fake news grew through the use of social media and was shared on many news sites. We know from evidence that Facebook handed over to the government that much of the fake news was created overseas, with some of it coming from Russia.

Voting is one of the most sacred institutions in the United States. Our system allows anyone 18 years of age or older to vote in elections that decide who will be our future leaders. It is an awesome power that we are entrusted with, and unfortunately there are some around the world who are not happy that we as a voting body have that kind of power.

It is very fortunate that no damage was done by any kind of hack in the last election. Now that we know that hackers have tried to disenfranchise our voter roles, it is important that the state does everything within its power to keep that information safe for the future. Voting is a crucial part of democracy functioning correctly. If something happens that keeps people from voting, then our democratic system cannot work properly.