Afterward, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump encouraged Russia to hack his political enemies. The GOP presidential nominee said "I will tell you this -- Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the [Clinton] 30,000 emails that are missing."
According to the USIC, the "recent disclosures of alleged hacked emails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process."
Still, the US won't go so far as to say the Russian government is behind these state election system assaults. That's not because the Russians wouldn't want to interfere directly with American elections, but rather because the US electoral systems are so fragmented, they're no easy way to hack them.
The USIC stated: "It would be extremely difficult for someone, including a nation-state actor, to alter actual ballot counts or election results by cyber attack or intrusion," and that's because of the "decentralized nature of our election system in this country and the number of protections state and local election officials have in place. States ensure that voting machines are not connected to the Internet, and there are numerous checks and balances as well as extensive oversight at multiple levels built into our election process."
Nevertheless, the DHS urges state and local "election officials to be vigilant and seek cybersecurity assistance from DHS." These services include cyber hygiene scans of internet-facing systems, risk and vulnerability assessments, information sharing about cyber incidents, and best practices for securing voter registration databases.