Iowa Democrats rejected an offer from the federal Department of Homeland Security to test the election app that failed Monday night, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Tuesday.
“They declined, and so we are seeing a couple of issues with it,” he said.
On Monday night, Iowa Democratic Party officials said they were unable to release the results of the Iowa caucuses because of inconsistencies in the results.
Wolf was adamant that there was nothing “malicious” taking place.
“I would say right now, we don’t see any malicious cyber activity going on,” he said.
“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.”
“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.”
Wolf’s comments contradict a report in The New York Times from last week that read, “the Iowa Democratic Party is using a new app this year that has been tested and verified by both security experts and the Department of Homeland Security.”
Politico offered a similar claim, quoting a Democratic official it did not name.
“Democrats have consulted with the DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Democratic National Committee and Harvard’s Defending Digital Democracy Project ‘to develop … systems and safeguards so that we can securely report results,’ said the party official,” Politico reported.
On Tuesday, however, Iowa Democrats released a statement that said, “in preparation for the caucuses, our systems were tested by independent cybersecurity consultants,” according to The Washington Post.
Wolf said the Iowa chaos does not mean the upcoming elections are in danger of being hacked.
“I would say that today and this year, we are more secure than we have ever been,” he said.
“We are continuing to learn … the lessons that we have done. And I would say we are going to have folks on site as we did in Iowa. We have election war rooms from the department. We have folks on site and ready to support.”