Local

Congress exploring ways to address election threats, improve security measures

WASHINGTON, D.C., Fla. — With this year’s midterm elections quickly approaching, members of Congress are reviewing election threats and security measures.

Some lawmakers say this includes foreign countries targeting elections through social media and conspiracy theories that spread misinformation.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

This year, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a new election task force to address the rise in threats against election workers, officials and their families following the 2020 election season. The agency is reviewing more than 850 reported incidents.

Federal lawmakers say they want to make sure elections remain fair and secure. Recently, they met with election experts about potential improvements.

Read: Police investigating after man’s body was found in Brevard County pond

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose told members of Congress that they state has increased security for election equipment by isolating the computer systems at the county board of election offices from other government operations.

“There’s an entirely separate parallel set of election infrastructure that is never connected to the internet - quite simply anything that touches a ballot can never be connected to the internet. That’s scanners, voting machines, tabulators, all of which are very strictly air-gapped,” said LaRose.

Read: Police: Woman found dead along Orlando roadside identified, suspect still at-large

With physical threats increasing, the Brennan Center for Justice believes Congress should provide grants for security improvements at the homes of election officials.

“As our Brennan Center survey showed almost 9 out of 10 election officials who had been threatened reported those threats not to federal officials but to their local law enforcement, DOJ needs to bring them to the table to help combat this serious threat,” said Elizabeth Howard, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Read: Investigation reveals how two boys escaped the Orange County Regional Juvenile Detention Center

Howard also wants Congress to offer grants for safety training at election offices.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Latest Trending