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Rubio Urges U.S. Election Assistance Commission to Approve Florida’s Request to Protect Election System

May 31, 2018 | Press Releases

Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today urged U.S. Election Assistance Commission Executive Director Brian Newby to promptly approve the State of Florida’s application for cybersecurity grant funding in advance of the 2018 elections so that the state may expedite their plans to strengthen their election systems.
Yesterday, Rubio met with Florida officials to discuss protecting state elections from interference. Earlier this year, Senators Rubio and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act, legislation that would impose tough sanctions on foreign actors for interfering in our democratic process in the future. Top U.S. officials and experts have expressed growing concern that Russia will again attempt to disrupt upcoming U.S. elections.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Mr. Newby:
This letter is in support of the Florida Department of State’s application for cybersecurity grant funding in advance of the 2018 elections.  With less than six months until Election Day, I urge you to promptly approve the State of Florida’s request so that the state may expedite their plans to strengthen our election systems.
As a member of the Senate Intelligence and Appropriations committees, I worked with my colleagues to ensure funding would be available to states to enhance the security of our elections.  As outlined in the State of Florida’s request, this grant funding would be applied to the implementation of critical cybersecurity measures to safeguard the integrity of our elections in 2018 and beyond. 
Florida is the third most populous state in the union, and based on reviews of foreign interference in the 2016 election, we know Florida is a target.  Federal, state and local governments must take proactive measures to ensure that any future attempts to interfere with voter databases or election infrastructure are not successful, and that when Americans go to vote they have the upmost confidence that their votes are properly counted.   
This week, I met with some of Florida’s dedicated election supervisors and discussed the need to act appropriately to address any existing vulnerabilities in our election systems by purchasing new equipment, facilitating cybersecurity training and implementing best practices.  I applaud their commitment to safeguard our democracy, and urge your full and timely consideration of the state’s request for $19.2 million to enhance elections integrity.