Warning of Russians, Florida Democrats push state to fortify election systems

Midterm elections fast approaching.
Published April 10, 2018|Updated April 10, 2018

WASHINGTON – Democrats here are pressing Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner to seek federal funding to fortify election equipment and systems databases.

"While most state systems were not breached, the U.S. Intelligence Community has repeatedly warned that Russia will try to disrupt midterm elections in November 2018," reads a letter sent from Florida House members. "In fact, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee: "There should be no doubt that Russia perceived that its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 U.S. midterm election as a potential target for Russian midterm operations."

Read more: Phishing expedition: At least 5 Florida counties targeted by Russian election hack

The Democrats urged Detzner to seek federal funds through the Election Security Grant Program, of which $19 million was set aside for Florida, according to the letter.

"We urge you as our chief state election official to request these grant funds to help fortify Florida's election equipment and systems databases, as well as provide cybersecurity training to election officials."

The letter was signed by Reps. Alcee Hastings, Val Demings, Lois Frankel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Al Lawson, Kathy Castor, Frederica Wilson, Ted Deutch and Charlie Crist.