Welcome to the Senate Republican Press Search.

View Article Details

Print

Illinois about to launch one of nation’s strongest election security systems

Chicago Sun Times

Thursday, September 13, 2018  |  Letter to Editor  |  Steven S. Sandvoss

Election Issues (not candidates) (39)

The Illinois State Board of Elections respectfully disagrees with the statement in your Sept. 9 editorial that “state bureaucrats are sitting on several million dollars earmarked for election security.”

 

In fact, the Illinois State Board of Elections is in the process of launching what will be one of the nation’s strongest statewide election cybersecurity efforts in the newly launched Cyber Navigator Program.

 

The state budget passed on May 31 requires that the State Board of Elections use “no less than half” of Illinois’ $13.9 million in federal aid under the Help America Vote Act to create and administer the Cyber Navigator Program which, among many other functions, will send nine “cyber navigators” into Illinois’ 108 local election authorities and establish a statewide protocol for election-related cybersecurity.

 

While we are required to spend half of the federal grant on the program, the reality is that it could cost well over $6.9 million to both conduct this effort and provide local election authorities the money needed to address any problems it identifies.

 

The bipartisan, eight-member governing board that oversees the Board of Elections believes ensuring the financial health and success of the Cyber Navigator Program must be the priority in using our federal grant. It will do no good to identify an election authority’s vulnerabilities without then providing the resources to fix them.

 

Having experienced and addressed a data breach two years ago that the U.S. Justice Department now attributes to Russian hackers, it is our goal today to make sure no county or municipal election office in Illinois becomes the next victim. Enacting a robust, statewide cybersecurity effort is the surest way to achieve that goal while bolstering public confidence in the integrity of the process that is the foundation of our democracy.

 

Steven S. Sandvoss

Executive Director

Illinois State Board of Elections