State gets cash from feds to fight cyber attacks on voting system


The State is receiving $5 million from the federal government to help fight against cyber attacks on the state voting system.

Last year, the Homeland Security Department announced that Connecticut was one of 21 states that agents of the Russian government targeted for cyber attack during the 2016 election.  The attack was NOT sucessful.

Related Content: Connecticut notified Russians scanned election system

It’s just six weeks until Election Day, and the Secretary of the State has announced the purchase of 169 of the “AccuVote Optical Scan tabulators” that the state has been using since 2006.   The machines are considered “hack proof” because they are not connected online, and retain your paper ballot, so re-counts are relatively easy as long as the ballots remain secured.

Related Content: Inside Connecticut’s ‘Hack-Proof’ Voting Technology

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill (D-Conn.) saying,  “In Connecticut our voting machines are never connected to the internet.  This is not about the way your vote is tabulated.  Our machines, our tabulator machines cannot be hacked in that way.”

While every city and town has at least one back up optical scan tablulator, the additional purchase will insure there are enough machines in the event any start to fail after being used for more than a decade.

The attempted and thwarted Russian hack was at a system that IS online;  the statewide voter registration lists that the Registrars print out for Election Day; so they can cross off your name when you come to vote. “What we know is that the Russians continue to try to manipulate our political system,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn).

It is felt that the local cities and towns is where the system is most vulnerable and most of the money will be spent at that level for increasing password security and more computer training.  Senators Murphy and Blumenthal say that what they are being told is that the Russians and other foreign actors will attempt to undermine the public’s confidence in the voting system and that could result in fewer people voting.

Web Extra: News 8’s Vanessa Wojtusiak talks with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill about voting cyber security

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