Collier, Lee counties promise secure voting security in the 2020 election

Published: Updated:
Photo by WINK News.

Former Special Council Robert Muller’s report comes as no surprise to the supervisor of elections in Collier and Lee counties.

The confirmation that the Russians did try to influence the 2016 presidential election seems to have been lost in the news cycle. But Collier and Lee counties know it is their mission to ensure that no one, not the Russians or anyone else, can hack into out 2020 presidential election.

“We have been able to upgrade some of our networking, our software, our hardware, as well as provide up-to-date training for staff,” said Jennifer Edwards, supervisor of elections in Collier County.

Edwards guaranteed there would not be any outside influence in Collier County, thanks to reliable paper ballots. She also said the software that is used to create an election and tabulate results is secure as it is not connected to the Internet, making it a standalone system in a secure room.

Collier and Lee counties received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants to upgrade security.

Stephen Brittan, Lee County information technology director, said its most prominent change is every computer and security checkpoint requires two forms of access.

“All of our computers require a USB device being inserted into it,” Brittan said, “which has a thumb reader, which puts her account number and then you give your password.”

Vicki Collins, Lee County Supervisor of Elections public relations officer, told WINK News if there was to be a hack attempt or some other kind of suspicious activity, Lee County’s systems are programmed to shut down immediately.

The measure boosts Collins confidence that any hacking attempt will fail.

“The IP address are not able to be seen in Russia or China,” said Collins, referring to the Internet Protocol address, which is assigned to every device connected to a computer network.

Between now and the 2020 election, both Collier and Lee counties will repeatedly test and upgrade their systems. Both counties state voters can be confident that their votes will be counted correctly.

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