Ohio Elections Chief Orders Security Upgrades for 2020

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio’s elections chief has ordered county election boards to undergo a host of security upgrades that he says will guard against cyberattacks and other threats ahead of the 2020 election.

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose said up to $12 million in Help America Vote Act funding is available for the effort.

His Tuesday directive requires the 88 boards to request risk and vulnerability assessments, remote system testing, communications reviews and in-depth hunts for cyber threats from the Department of Homeland Security by July 19.

It also requires boards to install special intrusion detection devices and so-called “black box” tools providing system security, and to use secure email systems. Annual security training and background checks for sensitive employees were also ordered.

Boards have until Jan. 31 to complete the upgrades.