Seminole County approves funding for election system designed to fend off cyber attacks

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The Seminole County Board of Commissioners approved funding Tuesday for a system designed to protect the Supervisor of Elections Office from cyber attacks.

The $28,420 was appropriated through a federal grant for election defense.

"This is an additional cyber intrusion barrier," Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel said. "We're digging that moat around our office to make sure there's not cyber intrusion."

Ertel said the monitoring system is part of an ongoing battle to make sure every vote is protected.

Last week, Sen. Bill Nelson said Russians were able to get inside the election systems of "certain counties" and "now have free rein to move about."

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Ertel said his office has seen no sign of any interference.

"The facts are zero intrusion has happened, but it doesn't mean that they're not trying," Ertel said.

Along with the additional cyber barriers, there are also protocols in place to protect each ballot, according to Ertel.

"If something happens, we have paper.  You can't hack paper," Ertel said. "We're going to count your vote, even if it's by hand."

Early voting begins Saturday in Seminole County, with the primary election held Aug. 28.  

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.