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U.S. Representative Val Demings

Representing the 10th District of Florida

Florida Gets “F” on Election Security

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February 12, 2018
Press Release

Today, U.S. Rep. Val Demings (FL-10) commented on a new report by the Center for American Progress, which gave Florida’s election security measures an “F” rating, one of only five states to earn the lowest ranking. No state received an “A,” and according to the report, “even states that received a B or a C have significant vulnerabilities.”

Rep. Demings is a member of the Congressional Task Force on Election Security, which is due to release its final report and proposed solutions later this week.

Said Rep. Demings, “This timely report indicates that Florida’s election system is not only shamefully vulnerable, but also lacks proper tools to uncover breaches or interference. It is utterly unacceptable that Florida is failing in so many regards. Florida was targeted in Russia’s 2016 hacks, while Orange County's election database was not breached, we must ensure that they and all counties have the resources they need to protect themselves from hostile foreign powers.

“With our elections under attack by foreign powers, especially Russia, it is vital that we move swiftly. As a member of the Congressional Task Force on Election Security, I’m working hard to ensure that the federal government is doing all it can to assist states in securing our elections. We will be introducing new legislation soon to protect American elections from foreign interference.

“Our Republic was founded on the belief that we—the American people—should be able to choose our future. Our most fundamental right is the right to cast a vote, for that vote to be counted, and for that count to matter. One person, one vote. Our democracy is the last true equalizer. We must protect it.”

Background

Russia’s 2016 campaign included an attempted breach of Florida’s election system, in which 12 Florida Supervisors of Elections were targeted. This also included what the NSA calls a “likely” breach of VR Systems (though the company denies it), which is based in Florida and is the voting roll software provider for at least 58 counties in Florida. 

While the state has made some efforts to secure its systems, additional federal action is needed. Certain federal agencies (such as the Election Assistance Commission and the Department of Homeland Security) play a supporting role to state agencies.

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