Board of Elections meets state requirements to boost election security

(Posted Feb. 7, 2020)

The Madison County Board of Elections has completed security upgrades required by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

On June 11, 2019, LaRose issued Directive 2019-08, a multi-faceted security strategy for local boards that provides the redundancy required of a strong election system infrastructure. Counties had until Jan. 31, 2020, to complete the requirements.

The directive included a checklist of 34 separate requirements that must be met in order to be considered compliant. The specifics of the checklist essentially serve as Ohio’s defense plan against anyone who seeks to disrupt elections. The requirements fall under five separate sectors:

• physical security assessments and improvements;
• background checks of personnel;
• secure website and e-mail domains;
• cyber-attack detection, system hardening and network defense; and
• security training.

“The voters in Madison County should be proud of their local board of elections for successfully embracing such a big challenge,” LaRose said. “By elevating their defensive posture, they’ve helped make Ohio a national model for election security.”

In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated election infrastructure as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Election systems are vulnerable to ever changing security environments. By implementing this elevated security posture, Ohio will be in the best possible standing to deter any threats to the election system, both foreign and domestic.

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