Johnson said the federal government has been looking at how to protect electronic polling stations from cyberattacks since before it was revealed the Democratic National Committee had been hacked, likely by Russians, representing a serious foreign cyber intrusion affecting the 2016 presidential election.
While federal officials have yet to officially point the finger for the DNC hack at the Russians, The New York Times reported Thursday that intelligence officials have a "high level of confidence" the individuals behind the DNC hack have ties to the Russian government.
"We should carefully consider whether our election system, our election process is critical infrastructure, like the financial sector, like the power grid," Johnson told reporters in Washington. "There's a vital national interest in our electoral process."
The nation's election infrastructure -- and the security of it -- has not undergone significant changes since passage of the Help America Vote Act in 2002, which Johnson said "raised the bar" for security, but is now outdated.