Secretary of State Merrill Talks Cybersecurity, Trip to Israel
Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill is speaking out about keeping voters as cyber secure as possible in the state’s 2020 election cycle.
“One of the things that we’re dedicated to doing is to ensuring that when you cast your ballot for the candidate of your choice, it’s going to count for the candidate of your choice,” Merrill said.
Merrill recently joined ten other secretaries of state in a tour of Israel thanks to the National Association of Secretaries of State and the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Project Interchange .
While there, the group spoke with Israeli educators, government officials, and other leaders about avenues they take to protect their voter system from terrorist threats. Israel is known as the most cyber secure country in the world.
“We learned a number of things, which we’ve brought back to Alabama which we are currently implementing and we will continue to do so over the next several months,” Merrill said.
Merrill said keeping computers and vote machines up-to-date play a key in keeping terrorists from gaining access to voter information.
He also learned about dual authentication systems and new technology, like electronic poll books.
“So we want to offer all the new technologies that we possibly can to protect the safety, the security, and the integrity and credibility of the elections process,” Merrill said.
The technology will be paid for by nearly seven million dollars in federal funds.
Merrill says he hopes the technology will be in place in Alabama’s 2500 polling sites by 2022.
“We don’t think you can ever do enough, learn enough, or be prepared enough with the struggles that we are having today and the challenges that we’re facing,” Merrill said.
Merrill says it’s also the duty of voters to have a strong civic engagement.
If you see something that concerns you, speak up and tell the proper authorities immediately.
“We want to be prepared to fight against those individuals in those areas,” Merrill said.
Alabama’s primary election is March 3rd.
For more information on cyber security, you can call the Secretary of State’s office at 334-242-7200.
You can also find more information here.