Press Releases

09/27/2018

Connecticut Gets $5.1 Million in Federal Money to Strengthen Its Election Cybersecurity

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-cybersecurity-202/2018/09/25/the-cybersecurity-202-congress-poised-to-allow-dhs-to-take-the-lead-on-federal-cybersecurity/5ba915ba1b326b7c8a8d162c/

The Cybersecurity 202

PATCHED: Connecticut plans to spend federal funds from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission on additional voting equipment, security upgrades and other improvements to the state's election infrastructure, according to a press release from Connecticut's office of the secretary of the state issued Monday. “Although the threat of foreign interference in our elections is very real, Connecticut’s cyberdefenses have already repelled a targeting by the Russian government in 2016, and our election cybersecurity infrastructure is strong and getting stronger,” Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill said in a statement. Connecticut, which received about $5 million in federal funding, also plans to use the money to train local election officials and hire a full-time cybersecurity consultant.

https://ctmirror.org/2018/09/24/merrill-voting-machines-secure-despite-russian-interference/

Merrill: Voting machines secure, despite Russian interference

Connecticut’s secretary of the state and two U.S. senators said Monday that Russian attempts to influence U.S. elections are real, but that the state’s counting and reporting of results are conducted off line and therefore resistant to hacking.

“In Connecticut, our voting machines are never connected to the internet. This is not about the ways your votes are tabulated,” said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

Merrill and U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal said Russians continue to try to gain entry to U.S. government computer systems and influence elections by varying means, including social media.

“They are trying to sow the seeds of doubt,” Merrill said. “They don’t have to corrupt data to do that.”

https://www.wtnh.com/news/politics/state-gets-cash-from-feds-to-fight-cyber-attacks-on-voting-system/1471663336

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

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."

https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20180924_connecticut_goes_on_offensive_to_protect_electoral_system/

Connecticut Goes On Offensive To Protect Electoral System

Connecticut’s electoral system was targeted in 2016 by “agents of the Russian government,” and while they were unsuccessful at breaking into the system Connecticut officials are going on the offensive with some help from the federal government.

“Every potential voter in this state should know we are taking steps to ensure our election infrastructure cannot be affected by foreign actors,” Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said. “In Connecticut every vote cast will be a vote counted.”

https://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Voting-chief-will-use-5-million-to-upgrade-13253683.php

Voting chief will use $5 million to upgrade security

To combat potential hacking incidents at the polls on Election Day, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said Monday she’ll use a $5-million federal grant to strengthen Connecticut’s voting-security system.

“We feel that the best thing we can do with the rest of the funding is to making sure that our local election infrastructure is up to par,” she said. “We believe that the targeting of the municipalities is much more likely than the targeting of the state system itself.”

“The hackers weren’t just trying to break into our system to affect our elections, they’re trying to sow the seeds of doubt,” she said. “They don’t have to corrupt data to do that. They just have to create doubt in the integrity of our elections. Nothing will do more to depress voter turnout despite all our best efforts than sowing doubt in an already-cynical public.”

“In Connecticut our voting machines are never connected to the Internet,” Merrill said in a morning news conference in the State Capitol with U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy. “This is not about the way your vote is tabulated. Our tabulating machines cannot be attacked in that way.”

http://www.wnpr.org/post/connecticut-protect-voting-systems-run-midterms

Connecticut To Protect Voting Systems In Run-Up To Midterms

The state of Connecticut is hardening its voting systems against potential cybersecurity threats. The Secretary of the State’s office has decided how to allocate $5 million in federal funds on election security.

At a press conference Monday Merrill said transparency is vital.

“We have to fight against the perception that our elections are rigged, because that leads to even fewer people voting," she said. "Every potential voter in this state should know we are taking steps to ensure that our election infrastructure cannot be affected by foreign actors. In Connecticut every vote cast will be a vote counted.”

http://www.courant.com/politics/capitol-watch/hc-pol-election-grant-voting-security-20180924-story.html

Connecticut Gets $5 Million in Federal Money to Fortify Its Voting System

Connecticut will receive more than $5 million from the federal government to fortify its voting system against cyber-attacks.

"We're using it to make our already robust cyber-security infrastructure even stronger, both at state level and for all the cities and towns, where the actual election management occurs,’’ Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said Monday at a state Capitol press conference, where she was joined by U.S. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal.

Merrill convened a task force made up of academics, IT experts, voter registrars and town clerks and state lawmakers to determine how to spend the money.

Merrill said Connecticut’s election system are not connected to the Internet, making it virtually impossible for hackers to tap into it.

“Many people when they hear the word hacking--and that’s why I’m not using that word--automatically assume that hackers are trying to manipulate our voting machines or the counting of the votes,’’ she said. “Our tabulating machines cannot be hacked in that way.”

But foreign agents can still destabilize U.S. elections in their quest to undermine democracy, Merrill said. “The hackers aren’t just trying to break in to our system to affect our elections, they’re trying to sow the seeds of doubt. They don’t have to corrupt data to do that, they just have to create doubt in the integrity of our elections.’’

http://www.rep-am.com/local/news-local/2018/09/24/state-to-use-5-1m-from-feds-to-bolster-election-cybersecurity/

State to use $5.1M from feds to bolster election cybersecurity

The state government will spend $5.1 million in federal funding to beef up the cyberdefenses of the state’s election infrastructure, buy backup voting machines and train local election officials.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill on Monday released the spending plan after privately briefing U.S. Sens. Christopher Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and exchanging views on recent federal proposals on election security.

“Every potential voter should know that we are taking steps to ensure that our election infrastructure cannot be affected by foreign actors. In Connecticut, every vote cast will be a vote counted,” Merrill said.

https://www.wfsb.com/news/ct-to-receive-federal-funding-to-increase-cyber-security/article_d5d68e1a-c02d-11e8-8e08-1b7b4ecb7622.html

CT to receive federal funding to increase cyber security

Connecticut is getting federal funding to strengthen its cyber security infrastructure after foreign attempts to interfere.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says the threat is real.

"Last year the Department of Homeland Security informed us that Connecticut was one of 21 states where agents of the Russian government targeted with cyber-attacks during the 2016 election,” said Merrill.

Merrill says in every polling place there are paper backups.

“In Connecticut, our voting machines are never connected to the internet. This is not about the way your vote is tabulated, our machines cannot be hacked in that way,” said Merrill.

https://www.thehour.com/news/article/Connecticut-beefing-up-election-cybersecurity-13254302.php

Connecticut beefing up election cybersecurity infrastructure

State officials have unveiled a plan to strengthen Connecticut's election cybersecurity infrastructure.

Democratic Secretary of the State Denise Merrill on Monday said the new blueprint focuses on procuring additional voter equipment and upgrading local hardware security. It also calls for assessing and addressing potential cyber vulnerabilities, enhancing post-election audits, improving voter registration systems and increasing and enhancing training of local election officials.

Additionally, there are plans to hire a full-time election cybersecurity consultant, fund regional election monitors and support the University of Connecticut Center for Voting Technology Research.


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Contact: Gabe Rosenberg
Phone: (203) 981-5825