Connecticut and New York have received a federal election assistance grant and will spend most of it on cybersecurity. Congress authorized giving states $380 million after reports that Russian hackers scanned state voting systems.
New York is getting $20 million and spending it all on cybersecurity. Connecticut is spreading the money around a bit more, beefing up voter registration systems and replacing outdated voting machines. A key concern for Secretary of the State Denise Merrill is the router through which towns access the central state voter registration system.
“We want to make sure that they all have updated their software for example. That they are doing their authentication. That they are putting in the right passwords and that they are not corrupting our system from the bottom up.”
Merrill says the state audits the voter list regularly, but if hackers made changes at the last minute, there could be chaos at the polls.
“What worries me is that people will become distrustful and start not voting at all.”
New York received a $20 million grant. The state is spending it all on cybersecurity staff to train local counties’ boards of election, and also to monitor problems during elections.