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Husted Announces Plans for Latest Round of HAVA Funding

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced the State of Ohio has submitted a plan to the United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for the distribution and use of funding made available through the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
 
Earlier this year, Congress appropriated additional HAVA funds to states as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. The initiative aims to improve the administration of federal elections, with a particular focus on security improvements and technological advancements.
 
Ohio will receive $12,186,021 in federal funding, while also providing a 5 percent match of $609,301 by March 23, 2020.

“We continue to invest in technologies that both improve election security and the voting experience,” Secretary Husted said. “This is not a one-time event, it is a continuous process to assess and address potential threats and risks we face. We want voters to be reassured that Ohio is taking the necessary steps to keep our elections secure.”

The plan submitted to the EAC contains six policy initiatives, each with a target completion date of December 31, 2020. The proposal includes:
 
Statewide Voter Registration System Database Improvements ($3.9 million) – A series of upgrades are planned for Ohio’s statewide voter database, including the introduction of multi-factor identification; improved communications lines; enhanced encryption techniques; computer and software updates; and long-term security planning.
 
Pathfinders ($4.9 million) – Support will be provided to the county boards of elections so they may enter standing partnerships with various federal security resources. These resources include the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for phishing campaign assessment and vulnerability scanning. Additionally, county boards will be required to utilize the Center for Internet Security’s Elections Infrastructure Playbook for assistance in identifying and mitigating information technology risks.
 
Enhanced Cybersecurity Service ($100,000) – ECS leverages classified information through U.S. government intelligence to assist in the detection and prevention of malicious server traffic.
 
Table-top Exercises & Training ($186,021) – The Secretary of State’s Office will host regional table-top exercises (TTX) for elections officials in 2018. The training is modeled after similar exercises conducted by the Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. The workshops will provide board of elections staff an opportunity to evaluate their readiness to deal with cyber threats, while also assessing their ability to perform tasks critical to procedural standards.
 
IT & Email Support Pilot Project ($1 million) – A pair of pilot programs designed to strengthen and align information technology maintained by the county boards of elections with resources operated within the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.  
 
Post-Election Audits ($2.1 million) – Funding will be reserved to offset costs for local and state election officials conducting post-election audits through 2020. Through permanent directive, all county boards of elections must conduct a post-election audit following each presidential primary election and regular federal general election.

Additional Information:
Narrative Plan

Media Inquiries

Sam Rossi
Press Secretary
srossi@ohiosecretaryofstate.gov
(614) 466-2729
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