Federal Cash May Be Used To Centralize Election Reporting Systems In Connecticut

May 17, 2018

Connecticut’s towns are likely to benefit from an information technology upgrade as a result of $5 million in federal grant money that’s coming to the state to protect the integrity of its elections. 

Connecticut was one of the states that was the target of a hack thought to have come from Russia during the 2016 election.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said she believes currently Connecticut’s elections are secure.

“We’re taking every precaution, doing everything we can to strengthen the cybersecurity,” she said.

Merrill chaired a meeting of the state’s Elections Cybersecurity Taskforce on Thursday, which brings together town and state officials. “This taskforce can help us share information and create best practices for election security across town and departmental lines,” she said.

Currently, each town is responsible for maintaining its own computers that connect to the statewide elections reporting system. But one solution could be to centralize the effort.

Thomas Miano from the secretary of the state’s office said that would reduce the number of vulnerabilities.

“Some of the options for solutions are a virtual desktop environment, where the desktops are actually housed in the datacenter,” he said. “We control the software, we control all the maintenance on that equipment, we control installations of software - everything. And what the towns have, they have their existing workstations with an agent that accesses that remote workstation.”

Merrill’s office will be responsible for developing a plan to spend the $5 million federal grant, which came from the Help America Vote Act.