by BENJAMIN YOUNT on June 18, 2018

Illinois is on the receiving end of more than $13 million for new election safeguards, but only half of that money will go to local election managers across the state.

County clerks and other election managers from across Illinois will be in Bloomington this week for a training session that focuses on protecting the state’s election information technology.

Logan County Clerk Sally Turner said the idea is to make sure the people who run local elections understand the basics of cyber security to keep their public web presence safe and secure.

“When you’re elected as a county clerk, you didn’t think you’d have to wear a hat that says ‘I’m the IT network administrator,’ ” Turner said. “You didn’t think you’d have to navigate what’s malware and what’s not.”

Turner was clear, however, that people’s votes and voter information is safe.

She said the training will focus on the publicly accessible portions of an election office’s website.

“Here’s what you don’t want to have happen on election night,” Turner explained. “You count your votes. Then you go to put the results on the election website. You don’t want your website to have been hacked, so that some goofball goes out and changes your results. And makes it look different.”

The Illinois State Board of Election’s Matt Dietrich said there’s $13 million available from the federal government to improve election security in Illinois. Half of that must be spent on a new “cyber navigator” program.

Dietrich said Illinois was still in the process of creating that program.


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An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois statewide issues for INN