Securing The Election

Election officials attend workshop

South Carolina Radio Network
August 30, 2018 - 7:51 am

Lee Rogers

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AUGUST 30, 2018 BY RENEE SEXTON (South Carolina Radio Network)

The South Carolina Election Commission is preparing for potential security threats for the November election.

“The State Election Commission recognizes the threat,” said Election Commission spokesperson Chris Whitmire. “We work with our federal and state partners to ensure we’re taking all reasonable measures to protect the state’s election infrastructure.”

Earlier this month the Commission offered a workshop for leaders of county election offices that included presentations from security and intelligence experts from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center, Department of Administration, SLED and private security vendors.

“We brought all of these partners together, which are experts in their areas on cybersecurity and intelligence and law enforcement to share information with the counties,” he said.

Whitmire said election security threats could come from anywhere and from a variety of motivations such as hostile nations, terrorists or hackers.

“We’re making sure we protect our election infrastructure from any threat, whether it’s the other side of the world or down the street,” Whitmire said. “[We’ll] take every measure we can to protect our system from threats regardless of where they’re coming from.”

He said the Election Commission has a security team whose members are the best in the field.

“The team is filled with people who are experts in their field on cybersecurity, on intelligence and law enforcement, and we follow the advice we receive and make sure that any vulnerabilities that are identified, that we’re remediating those,” he said.

Also at the workshop, county election representatives got to see demonstrations and pitches from companies making voting systems. Whitmire said the Election Commission plans to replace the state’s voting system in 2019 that could cost as much as $50 million. The Commission currently has $15 million allocated for the new system and is in the process of securing the rest from the General Assembly.

Attending voting system vendors were Clear Ballot, Dominion Voting Systems, Election Systems & Software, and Hart InterCivic.

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