Illinois beefing up election security, upgrades will be in place by 2020

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SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) — The Illinois State Board of Elections is doing all it can to make sure the November election is secure.

But most of the new security efforts won’t fully be in place till the 2020 election, State Board of Election’s spokesman Matt Dietrich said. Right now, only about half of the state’s cyber navigators are on-board. The cyber navigators will be assessing vulnerabilities in the 108 different local election jurisdictions across Illinois.

“We have $13.9 million to hand out,” Dietrich said. “Half of that has to go to us to create the cyber navigator program, which we are in the process of doing now. Some of those navigators, there will be nine of them, some of them have been hired.”

Dietrich said the State Board is also helping local election authorities.

“We released $2.9 million to any local jurisdiction that has already spent money,” Dietrich said. “If they spent after July 1st for cyber security, they can get reimbursed for it. Or if they have projects that they know they have to do to improve their cyber security, they can go ahead and send us a grant request and then we’ll release the money to them.”

Dietrich said all of the state’s cyber navigators and local upgrades should be in place by 2020.

An ISBE voter database was hacked in 2016, exposing data on more than 70,000 voters.

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