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Legal Experts: Allowing DHS to Secure Elections Would Set a Dangerous Precedent

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s suggestion that state and local voting systems be designated as “pieces of critical infrastructure” so that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can protect them from hackers is unconstitutional and would create a dangerous precedent, legal experts said.

“The Department of Homeland Security does not have the legal authority to interfere with states’ election systems without their permission,” University of California/Berkeley School of Law Professor John Yoo told CNSNews.com.

“While the federal government has the general power to protect the nation’s cyber infrastructure, it cannot intrude into areas of state sovereignty without clear constitutional mandate.

“Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution recognizes the authority of the states to regulate the times, places, manner of elections, subject to congressional regulation. As far as I am aware, Congress has not clearly decided to regulate the information systems of state electoral systems or delegated this authority to DHS,” Yoo noted.

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