Security imperative for fair elections

Here we go again, county-level election officials in Ohio may be thinking. Another mandate from Columbus.

Indeed there is one — and it is of critical importance. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is ordering county boards of elections to upgrade security against cyberattacks.

Knowledge of the Russian government’s efforts, some moderately successful, to hack into U.S. digital election systems prior to the 2016 election makes it clear that country — and perhaps others — will continue probing for weaknesses in security. Guarding against intruders is mandatory.

LaRose has said he will be making about $12 million in federal funding available to help pay for security upgrades. That may not be enough. State legislators should be prepared to provide more, if it is needed.

And Ohio election officials should not go it alone. Enormous expertise — some of it right next door in West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner’s office — is available. They should take advantage of the work already done in this fight.

Ensuring Ohio elections cannot be influenced in any way by a foreign government is imperative. The sooner that is taken care of — and the smoother the folks in Columbus can make it for those doing the work at the county level — the better.


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