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Sun Times Feature Story


 

082219

Election Security


This Election Will Be Highly Scrutinized On All Sides

Following Governor DeSantis’ recent announcement of the redistribution of unexpended funds to Supervisors of Elections to enhance election security, Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee announced recently the Florida Department of State has approved election security grant applications totaling $2,343,395 for all 55 counties that applied, the grant included $18,500 for Broward, and $210,977.00 for Miami-Dade county.

This past session, the Florida Legislature allocated an additional $2.8 million for election security that will be available in the upcoming fiscal year for a total of $5.1 million for election security as we head into 2020.

“Florida’s Supervisors of Elections are extremely thankful to have the $2.3 million in funding made available again thanks to the support of Governor DeSantis,” said Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections President Tammy Jones. “We share the Governor’s and Secretary Lee’s commitment to election security and we will continue to do all that we can to protect our elections from cyber threats.”

Since 2018, DOS and Supervisors of Elections have invested millions of dollars in election security, including $14.5 million in election security grants and $1.9 million to purchase and install ALBERT network monitoring sensors. Florida is the first and only state in the country to have all counties using the ALBERT sensor. These sensors can detect cyber threats and quickly alert officials when data may be at risk. Florida has more ALBERT sensors than any other state.

Department of State and Florida’s Supervisors of Elections continue to work closely with state and federal partners including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, the Center for Internet Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on election security issues. Additionally, Department of State and all of Florida’s 67 Supervisors of Elections are members of the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center. These strong partnerships help ensure a coordinated effort between federal, state and local partners to protect Florida’s elections.

As directed by Governor DeSantis, Department of State is in the process of working with Supervisors of Elections to conduct a thorough elections-specific assessment and evaluate weaknesses in Florida’s elections systems, as well as identify the potential for human vulnerabilities. Any weaknesses or vulnerabilities that are identified at the state or county level will be addressed or mitigated prior to the 2020 Presidential Preference Primary.


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