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Connecticut News

National Guard Will Bolster Connecticut Election Cybersecurity

Residents power their electronics and use wireless public internet access at Westport Town Hall beside a ballot drop box, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in Westport, Conn.
John Minchillo
/
Associated Press
Residents power their electronics and use wireless public internet access at Westport Town Hall beside a ballot drop box, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in Westport, Conn.

The Connecticut Secretary of the State’s office has partnered with the National Guard to provide cybersecurity for the presidential election in November.

Scott Bates is the Deputy Secretary of the State. He said National Guard personnel trained in cybersecurity have been deployed to help election officials in 128 cities and towns secure their computers.

“This is a persistent threat and a persistent challenge. Today it’s Russia, tomorrow its China,” Bates said. "Two years from now it’s somebody that wants a bunch of money because we’ve seen ransomware threats out there, so our elections are deserving a level of security as well. Every town has to have the same security that is about underpinning our democracy.”

Bates said local registrars’ of voters in Connecticut are now required to have cybersecurity certification.

General Francis Evon commands the Connecticut National Guard. He said it's one more assignment for the guard.

“Most recently you’ve seen our response and performance with public health with COVID. Two or three weeks ago with the tornadoes and previous to that the tropical storm. Cyber is another tool that the governor has in his tool kit when there is a bad day in Connecticut,” Evon said.

Connecticut has used federal election security grants to pay for the deployment of the National Guard personnel.