Originally on WFAE 90.7

February 19, 2018

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asking for information on election security and possible tampering in North Carolina following last week's indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian businesses accused of interfering with the 2016 election.

In his letter, Stein specifies that it’s not just past election tampering that alarms him – it’s outside involvement in future ones, especially the 2018 election.

“In our democracy, the right to vote, to have one’s vote be counted accurately, and to have one’s vote mean something is absolutely critical,” Stein said in a statement. “Anyone – particularly a foreign national or foreign government – who tampers with the security of our elections not only is a criminal, but also strikes at the very heart of democracy.”

Stein called election tampering “intolerable” and is asking homeland security to provide his office with information to “ensure that North Carolina elections are fair and secure.”

Specifically, Stein is asking for information on known vulnerabilities in North Carolina as well as vulnerabilities in election hardware and software, federally-crafted countermeasures that can be implemented, an update on Russia's 2016 hacking efforts in the state, and any other information on proactive measures North Carolina could take against election tampering.

Stein asked the department to send his office a written response by March 5 – well before the state's primary elections are held in May.