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Book Raises Election Security Concerns

September 10th, 2020 by Mike Vasilinda

A soon to be published book by author Bob Woodward named St. Lucie as the second county supposedly hacked in 2016.

Washington County in the Panhandle was previously identified.

Elections supervisors now say the 2016 allegations contain a silver lining.

The soon to be published ‘Rage’ is re-igniting concerns over election security in Florida.

In May 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed that two counties had been penetrated in 2016 but said he was sworn to secrecy.

“I’m not allowed to name the counties. I signed a disclosure agreement,” said DeSantis.

Nearly six months later, Secretary of State Laurel Lee, the US Attorney, the FBI and others went public with their intent to protect and secure.

“We are all here to make clear that each of us will use those three hundred and sixty eight days to safe guard our election process,” said US Attorney for Florida’s Northern District Lawrence Keefe in November 2019.

Florida has spent tens of millions beefing up security since the last election.

Every county has been audited and there are now five full time cyber specialists working for the state.

“There have been problems that have been identified, and there’s been a response to that,” said Mark Earley, Election Supervisor for Leon County.

Earley is also the cyber security chair for Florida’s 67 elections supervisors.

He calls 2016 a wake up call.

“It brought this to our awareness. It showed the need for partnerships, for more funding, and cooperation from county to county. Sharing resources, especially with those counties that have less funding and less expertise,” said Earley.

Earley also told us he has not been briefed on whether St. Lucie was indeed the other hacked county.

“It’s complete news to me,” said Earley.

The county said it was never told, to which Earley replied any supervisor that may have been compromised deserves to know.

While the election is just under two months away, mail ballots go out in two weeks, on September 24th.

So far, just over 2.6 million have been requested.

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