LISTEN LIVE

Election security

Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis essentially reversed his predecessors’ actions by giving back $2.3 million  to elections supervisors to spend on cyber security. The money was left over from a $19 million grant the federal government gave the state prior to the 2018 primary election.

DeSantis Redistributes Election Security Money

Jun 17, 2019
Gov. Ron DeSantis stands at a podium surrounded by officials as he announces a plan to evaluate the security of Florida's elections systems.
Courtesy Governor's Press Office

A month after learning Russian hackers breached elections systems in two Florida counties in 2016, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday said his administration is focused on identifying “any vulnerabilities” ahead of next year’s elections.

The Republican governor announced he is redistributing $2.3 million in election-security money that went unspent by county elections supervisors last year. The funds are in addition to $2.8 million for elections cybersecurity Florida lawmakers earmarked in the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1.

People casting their votes at polling booths
WUSF Staff

Pasco County will be holding a special election Tuesday to replace former Representative Danny Burgess after he was selected by Governor Ron DeSantis to become the executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Hand dropping ballot into a box.
Drew McKissick / Flickr

Threats to Florida elections are often so inconspicuous that people don’t notice them.

They exist behind the glowing light of your cellphone on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Pasco County’s Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley sent out a letter this week urging voters to be aware of possible cybersecurity threats ahead of the 2020 election.

The FBI will brief Florida’s congressional members this week on Russian attempts to hack the 2016 election, after the Mueller report revealed last month that the election system of at least one Florida county was compromised.

But even before details emerge, a former supervisor of elections in Florida is saying he is not surprised that the state’s system was compromised. Ion Sancho, the longtime former supervisor of elections of Leon County, said Friday on The Florida Roundup that Florida’s election infrastructure is, frankly, “not secure.”

People casting their votes at polling booths
WUSF Staff

Florida lawmakers are considering several measures to address the state's long documented election woes.

Problems with ballot counting - from the controversial 2000 presidential election to the 2018 statewide election - prompted Spring Hill Republican Rep. Blaise Ingoglia and two House committees to draft a bill to streamline the absentee balloting schedule.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Residents are headed to early voting sites across Tampa Bay this week, while politicians and elections officials try figure out whether Florida's voting system has been hacked.

FLgov.com and WJCT News

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, calling the allegations sensational, demanded on Friday that U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson provide proof to back up his statement that Russian operatives have penetrated some of his state's election systems ahead of this year's crucial election.

Scott, a Republican, is running against Nelson, a Democrat, in November's midterm elections. During a campaign stop in Tampa, Scott said Nelson must provide "evidence for his claims."

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Local elections supervisors in Florida have finally received the federal money for cyber security allocated to them back in March.

When Congress approved giving $380 million to states to bolster the security of their elections, state officials were caught off guard but extremely grateful. Elections are notoriously underfunded and haven't seen a windfall like this from the federal government in more than a decade.

But getting that money out to all the states, and then into the hands of localities that run the elections, with enough time to have a meaningful effect on the 2018 midterm elections is a difficult proposition.

Flckr

Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that federal funds will be used after all to beef up security for the state's voting systems in time for November's elections.

Flickr

Supervisors of elections throughout Florida are preparing for the upcoming election season, with the secruity of the voting process being a top priority.