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Rubio applauds idea of election security consultants but again warns of risks

Gov. Rick Scott has moved to hire security consultants.
Rubio. [PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS | AP]
Published May 7, 2018

WASHINGTON – Sen. Marco Rubio, who's raised alarms about Russian meddling in coming elections, praised a move by Gov. Rick Scott to hire security consultants.

But Rubio said that many state election officials "are underestimating the threat we face from Putin interference."

In a recent appearance before county officials here, Rubio outlined a scenario in which voter registration could be altered, leaving people unable to vote and creating chaos on Election Day.

"I cannot emphasize enough the vulnerability," the Florida Republican and Intelligence Committee member said.

From the Associated Press:

Scott and state officials had asked the Florida Legislature to create a cybersecurity unit in the state's elections office to combat a "growing threat." The move came after an effort to infiltrate the state's election systems during the 2016 elections.

Legislators did not agree to the request so the Republican governor said the state would hire five employees under contract to assist Florida election officials. State officials said they would use a federal grant to pay for the security consultants.

"We must be proactive in our efforts to preserve the security and integrity of our elections," Scott said in a statement. He added that prompted his order to Florida's Department of State to invest in a cybersecurity team "that will serve as a resource to all of our election officials."

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