HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Earlier this month, the Secretary of the State announced new federal funding for a military cybersecurity team to watch over this year’s elections. Now, there is a national movement to get the retired military to help out at the actual polling sites, including here in Connecticut.

State election officials say the threat of online interference in our elections is real. A $200,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) will pay for a team to oversee election cybersecurity statewide.

The boots on the ground at polling places this election day will be an army of volunteers like Travis Wilson, a retired Army Green Beret.

“Because of COVID, a lot of the people who average over the age of 61 don’t want to work the polling stations,” Wilson said. “So, there’s a drastic need for poll workers”

Wilson lives in Texas, where, unlike Connecticut, there is a county government. His election day training will be different.

“Run the machines, to knowing that those election zones have to be 40 feet away from the front door, you know, so there’s a lot of different rules,” explained Wilson.

He’s part of a national movement called “One More Mission.” It’s a non-partisan group of retired service members who want to help ensure election day runs smoothly. Their goal is to recruit 30,000 volunteers nationwide.

Kyle Reyes, CEO of Silent Partner Reyes, who is from East Granby, says the political problem is division in our country exacerbated by social media.

“There’s got to be an a-political solution or a business solution to a political problem,” Reyes said. “And so, we decided that the best way of doing it would be to enlist the men and women who we trust with our safety, with the safety of this country every single day.”

Continuing their service through civic duty made sense to Wilson.

“As veterans, we raised our right hand, you know, to serve our country, to protect our nation and in its interest in our election,” Wilson said. “And it just kind of resonated with me. You know, a lot of us want to serve again.”

In the meantime, there is a question on the ballot this year:

“Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to permit the General Assembly to provide for early voting?”

At a debate, the candidates running for Secretary of the State were split on the idea.

Dominic Rapini, the Republican Secretary of the State Candidate, was concerned saying, “We don’t know if it’s going to be three days, five days, 45 days.”

Stephanie Thomas, the Democratic Secretary of the State Candidate, said, “I’m a big fan of early voting.”

A new law allows people to vote absentee not only if they are out of town, but if they are sick, or are a caretaker for another person.

The secretary of the state said as of Wednesday, nearly 90,000 absentee ballots have been requested. That number is on pace to surpass the requests for the entire 2018 election cycle.

If you would like an application for an absentee ballot, click here. If you would like to volunteer at the polls, click here.