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“Cybersecurity in Florida’s 2020 Elections” | Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee | June 23, 2020

“Election hacking is a constantly evolving and never ending threat…but clearly you can’t hack paper.”

Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee discusses election security and efforts to keep Florida’s voting systems safe from computer hackers, before a June 23, 2020 luncheon meeting of The Economic Club of Florida.

Show notes

Among her official duties as Secretary of State, Laurel Lee oversees Florida elections.  Following computer hacking of two of Florida’s 67 county election systems in 2016, Secretary Lee shared what steps Florida has taken to harden its election systems for this year’s elections.  She discussed the new Joint Election Security Initiative – an unprecedented cooperative partnership with Florida’s 67 Supervisors of Elections.

“In collaboration with the supervisors, we conducted election-specific risk assessments in each county and since that time have worked very closely with those counties to mitigate and address all vulnerabilities that were identified at a statewide level,” Secretary Lee said.  “Our top priority is to provide for the integrity of elections.”

Secretary Lee said that while the local Supervisors of Elections are responsible for the logistics of the election, her office has spent millions of dollars in both state and federal funding to modernize the hardware and software infrastructure.  Her staff has also conducted extensive in-field training to help smaller counties with limited budgets “to ensure we have met baseline security needs,” Secretary Lee said.  She also reminded the audience that Florida uses and maintains paper ballots that voters fill out at the polls.  “Clearly, you can’t hack paper,” she added.

Her address also covered other timely and relevant 2020 election topics in the news, including the use of mail-in ballots and how election officials are working diligently to protect the health of in-person voters during this coronavirus pandemic.  So is your vote safe this year?  The answer to The Economic Club of Florida members from Secretary Lee, was “yes,” but noted “election hacking is a constantly evolving and never ending threat.”

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode

The Economic Club of Florida podcast, provides an extended platform for discussion to educate, engage, and empower citizens on important economic, political, and social issues. Based in Tallahassee, Florida, the Club has featured distinguished speakers on engaging topics of national importance since 1977. To learn more, including how to become a member, visit or call 850-224-0711 or email [email protected].

Date of recording: 6/23/19