Pennsylvania works to improve election security

Election

Pennsylvania is one of 21 states targeted by Russian hackers in 2016. The state is now taking steps to make sure voting is secure in 2018.

“Our systems and our defenses worked the way they were intended to,” Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres said. “There was never any evidence that they hacked or compromised our systems in any way.”

State officials have been focused on security. Earlier this year, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale launched an audit of the state’s election system. Pennsylvania is also moving to new voting machines and working to replace the voter registration database.

“That’s our intention, to be as prepared as we can for any other incidents that can disrupt our elections,” Torres said.

The Interagency Election Preparedness and Security Workgroup, a group of eight state agencies, was formed last month to share information and stay one step ahead of any potential problems.

“We’re much better prepared because of all the information sharing,” Torres said.

The group is planning exercises this week. They’re focused on everything from dealing with misinformation on social media to preparing for potential storms like those that impacted elections in several counties in May.

“It’s in our best interest to make sure all the parties that can support an appropriate response to any incident are well prepared,” Torres said.

With less than three months to go before voters head to the polls, Torres says he’s confident that every vote will count.

“I am confident that the counties will administer elections securely,” he said.

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