By Mike Groll/Reuters / Reuters / Reuters – 4:55PM ETNEDAY, Nov. 17, 2020 (BUSINESS WIRE) – In the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, a group of election officials began a painstaking search for machines that had not yet been certified.
But when they discovered their machines had not been counted in their counties, the search was quickly redirected to the state of Texas, which was still using old machines that were too old to be certified, according to a letter obtained by Business Insider.
The effort was part of a push to upgrade state machines in Texas, where a new presidential election is due on Dec. 8.
In 2017, Republican Donald Trump won the state’s presidential election by a mere 1,066 votes.
The state’s election officials are looking for replacement machines for the November election that will be decided by just 1,300 votes, leaving an election that could be close in some counties, such as Harris County, which includes Houston.
In an email to employees in the state election division, the office of Texas Secretary of State Tre Hargett acknowledged that there was “a lot of uncertainty” about the machines that could not be certified.
“This is why we’re making this request,” Hargetts said in the email.
“As of today, there is no replacement for the remaining certified and certified machines in the election.”
As election officials look to replace the state machines, the Department of Homeland Security has been ramping up its efforts to find and remove voter fraud, a trend that has intensified as the election season has progressed.
In a report released on Tuesday, the DHS revealed that it had detected more than 3,000 new cyberattacks targeting voting systems in the U.A.E., the United Kingdom and Canada.
The DHS warned that many of the attacks were “extremely sophisticated” and “planned” and would have a “serious impact on the integrity of our elections and on the nation.”
Hargett’s office did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
The Department of State also said that it was in the process of reviewing more than 1,000 requests for help from election officials, and that it is “working to ensure that our systems are ready to meet the challenge.”
While there has been no evidence of voter fraud in Texas’ presidential election since the early 1980s, the number of confirmed cyberattacks has surged since the election.
In the weeks leading up to the election, the state received more than 7,500 requests from election administrators for help in identifying suspected cyberattacks, according a Texas Public Information Act request obtained by The Dallas Morning News.
In 2017, hackers successfully penetrated the state government’s voter registration system.
Since then, they have attempted to break into other government databases, such the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, the U to U department of the U, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
In 2016, a hacker also broke into the Texas Office of Elections, causing problems for the election commission.
On Wednesday, the Texas election commission issued a public warning that it would be in contact with all of its agencies to help verify the legitimacy of the voting machines.
In an email, the commission said it was “working with the Department to work with election officials to ensure they have all of the required hardware and software to support election integrity.”
Texas election officials have been busy updating their systems and installing new hardware.
The department said that the county elections office, the statewide elections board, the county election board of elections and the county board of election supervisors have been making the upgrades.
The office of the secretary of state also has been updating its systems, according the Texas Secretary Of State.
State officials said that while the state has “been upgrading our state election systems for more than 20 years, it is only now that we are taking it to the next level.
Our system is ready to go and we will have the new election systems in place on Nov. 8,” said Texas Election Commission Director of Communications Lisa Wigdor.
“With our extensive systems and training, the election officials can now work with their county and statewide election officials on the most critical steps of preparing their elections.”