Following Governor Rick Scott’s recent direction to the Florida Department of State (DOS) to hire five cyber security specialists to ensure Florida’s elections remain secure, the Governor today directed DOS to draw down $19 million in federal funding to further enhance cybersecurity in Florida’s elections. The Department will submit a plan to the federal government as outlined by federal law to bolster security for local elections offices, who are responsible for elections security. Once this plan is approved by Federal Elections Assistance Commission, DOS will work with the Florida Legislature to provide this funding to Supervisors of Elections, as well as bolster state efforts to enhance cybersecurity and voting practices prior to this November’s elections.
Governor Scott said, “The integrity of our elections is paramount, and we’ll keep fighting to ensure that every Floridian continues to have confidence in our elections process. By directing DOS to draw down more federal funding, we are providing the resources our local elections officials need to keep our elections secure. I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure that Florida has zero fraud in our elections.”
Recent actions taken by the Scott Administration to enhance voting security:
- DOS has also been working diligently with Supervisors of Elections to help Florida counties modernize their voting systems. More than two-thirds of Florida counties have completed a voting equipment modernization and the majority of the remaining counties are in the process of completing a modernization or upgrade.
- Prior to the 2016 election, DOS upgraded to state-of-the-art hardware, software and firewalls to safeguard voter information in the Florida Voter Registration System (FVRS) and prevent any possible hacking attempts from being successful.
- DOS is also enhancing the security of the Florida Election Watch website to ensure there is no disruption in election night reporting of results as well as strengthening protections of Florida’s online voter registration website.
- During the 2018 Legislative Session, DOS received $1.9 million in funding to provide grants to Supervisors of Elections for the purchase of a Network Monitoring Security solution, called ALBERT, that is offered through the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). This system identifies and shares information about potential threats with states and assists with the 24-7 monitoring of state networks for suspicious activity. Several Supervisors of Elections have completed the process to get ALBERT online in their county, and many others have initiated the process.