LANSING – Back in the spring of 2016, this blog asked the rhetorical question, “Could the election be hacked?

The response: most people, including industry experts at the time, either ignored, mocked or laughed at the suggestion.  But after the events of the past few years, no one is laughing now at the potential for voting irregularities, either online or offline.

On the contrary, as we head closer to the November, election security is quickly rising to the very top of the domestic priority list and is set to be a top issue this Fall. Some of the recent headlines underline a growing sense of urgency, if not panic, regarding the topic and what’s at stake.

So why now? What makes our current situation different than in the past? According to Andris Ozols, the former chief research analyst for Michigan government and an expert who has commented nationally on several past election cycles, the USA is in uncharted waters. “The pandemic is helping shift the election discourse from processes, operations and IT cybersecurity to also emphasizing public policies and values. For example, eligibility, access, openness, transparency, trust and truthfulness and equity are core issues.

This is in partly accomplished from (1) lessons from the 2020 primaries, (2) the police and justice actions being seen in the larger context of pandemic, economic status, employment and election framework,  and through (3) collaboration among states, governors and state interest groups and (4) increased engagement by the private sector.”

To read more of cybersecurity expert Dan Lohrmann’s Column, click on