DHS chief says offer to vet Iowa caucus app was declined


Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Tuesday that an offer to vet the app used by the Iowa Democratic Party to tabulate votes during the Iowa caucuses was turned down.

“Our Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has offered to test that app from a hacking perspective,” Wolf said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”

Wolf said the offer was “declined” and noted that “we’re seeing a couple of issues with it.”

“I would say right now, we don’t see any malicious cyber activity going on,” he added.

The Iowa Democratic Party said Tuesday morning that the app used to tabulate votes as part of the first-in-the-nation caucuses, which CNN confirmed was built by the firm Shadow, had a “coding issue in the reporting system” that slowed down the reporting of vote totals.

The party emphasized that the underlying voting data collected by the system had not been affected by the technical issues and that “there was no cybersecurity intrusion.”

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is the key federal agency involved in securing elections and has made election security a major priority following Russian interference in 2016.

Wolf emphasized on Tuesday that hacking operations had not taken place in Iowa, where the caucuses are run by political parties and not by state and local election officials, as the majority of U.S. elections are.

“No one hacked into it, so this is more of a stress or a load issue, as well as a reporting issue that we’re seeing in Iowa,” Wolf said. “But what I would say is that given the amount of scrutiny that we have on election security these days, this is a concerning event and it really goes to the public confidence of our elections.”

He added that the Homeland Security Department also had officials in Iowa “on-site and ready to support” if requested.

“Today and this year we are more secure than we’ve ever been,” Wolf said. “So as we look at 2016 and our preparations for 2018, we’re even more secure than ’16. So, we’re continuing to learn and build — and learn the lessons that we’ve done.”

Tags Chad Wolf
See all Hill.TV See all Video