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State Ahead of the Curve in Elections

By Staff | Sep 22, 2017

Name a policy issue, and chances are it has been politicized by Democrats, Republicans and even Independents eager to gain advantages over political rivals. Even the security of the election process has become a polarizing debate.

Good for West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner for understanding the sheer stupidity of that.

Warner already has become a model for chief elections officers in many other states, by launching his campaign to clean up voter registration rolls. That adds to confidence in the process because it makes it more honest.

Now Warner is taking another leadership role. Earlier this month, he took part in a national project just getting off the ground, “Defending Digital Democracy.” Some of the principals gathered last week in Washington to discuss strategies to safeguard the voting system against cyber attacks.

We know some already have occurred, though it appears their success was very limited. Not a single state elections officer has reported any evidence of successful vote tampering.

Still, the threat exists. It will only grow greater.

Organizers of the DDD project have made an effort at bipartisanship. One of them is Robby Mook, who served as Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager last year. Another is Matt Rhoades, who held the same post for Mitt Romney in 2012.

Warner was one of just four secretaries of state who attended the session last week in Washington.

That was by design. Organizers of the conference wanted people with both security expertise and leadership qualities. Warner has both.

Recognition of that on the national level is very, very good for West Virginia. It means, quite simply, that we are likely to be ahead of the game on keeping our elections secure against cyber tampering. In the very near future, that will be a very good thing. Let us hope politics is not permitted to intrude.