Secretary of the State Denise Merrill Convenes Connecticut Election Cybersecurity Task Force
First of its kind meeting of federal, state, and local officials to strengthen Connecticut’s electionHARTFORD - Secretary of the State Denise Merrill led a first of its kind meeting of state, local, and federal officials in an effort to protect Connecticut’s 2018 elections from cyberattack. “This is the first statewide election following Russia’s attempt to interfere with our election process”, said Merrill. “Our mission is to ensure that in Connecticut every vote is counted, every citizen has faith in the process, and that we stay one step ahead of those who seek to disrupt our democracy.”
The Task Force includes representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Connecticut National Guard, Connecticut state government, as well as legislative leadership and statewide organizations for Town Clerks, the Registrars of Voters, and municipalities. Attached is a list of members of the Task Force.
“In Connecticut, our cybersecurity defenses held, and the Russians were turned away. But they aren’t going away,” Merrill said. “The threat of foreign interference is real and this Task Force is key to coordinating our response.”
As immediate past president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, and co-chair of NASS’s Cybersecurity Task Force, Merrill led efforts to successfully secure funding for all fifty states to strengthen their cyberdefenses under the Help America Vote Act. The Task Force will advise Secretary Merrill on how to invest the more than $5 million of federal funds recently appropriated for election security in Connecticut to best strengthen cyberdefenses on the state and local level, and plan ongoing coordination and training. Attached is the agenda of the first task force meeting.
“This Task Force brings together State, local, and federal officials,” said Merrill. “From small towns and big cities, and across party lines, we are all gathered together for one purpose – to protect our democracy.”