Lessons learned from the 2016 election and the 2020 caucus in Iowa show it doesn’t take much to disrupt the ballot counting process.
But in Florida, the best protection offered against election issues is simple, Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles said.
"Every voter in Florida votes on paper," Cowles said.
For voters, that paper trail provides a sense of security.
"(In) 2016 we all learned about elections and hacking," Cowles said.
Since then, Florida's elections offices have been working overtime to protect the process by placing the voter registration database and ballot tabulation systems on separate servers.
Elections offices including Orange County’s, are already testing their equipment ahead of Florida's March 17 presidential preference primary.
They are also making sure they have paper backups, not just for ballots, but also for voter rolls, because, as supervisors like to say, you can't hack paper.
But the problem heading into 2020 isn't local. It's national.
"This Iowa caucus has been a total mess. It's been a complete failure,” said former Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro.
And that was caused just by human error.
Looking back to 2016, Congressman Michael Waltz pointed out the FBI still won't publicly say which Florida counties were targeted by Russian hackers.
He said the federal government has the resources to detect cyberthreats, but power is meaningless if it doesn't share that information at the local level in a timely manner.
“The public needs to be notified and the FBI needs to find a way to do that while protecting its methods and assets,” Waltz said.
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