The Congresswoman from Winterpark, FL, Stephanie Murphy (D–FL 7th District), sent a letter to Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee lending her support in the serious financial investment of cybersecurity to protect against election interference from foreign aggressors.
Secretary Lee requested close to $1.3 million to fund a 10-person cybersecurity team in September. She also requested another $1 million to help local election offices to assist in dealing with current system issues.
Our elections are one of the most critical components of our democracy, and voters should feel confident that their vote is protected from foreign interference. I applaud any effort by state election officials to make election security a top priority.https://t.co/YFZYNDfFqc
— Rep. Stephanie Murphy (@RepStephMurphy) October 2, 2019
In July of 2019, Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) introduced the Achieving Lasting Electoral Reforms on Transparency and Security (ALERTS Act), H.R. 3529 to address election interference in Florida.
This bipartisan bill requires the Department of Homeland Security to notify state and local officials, some members of Congress and voters how have been victimized when federal agencies identify an election system breach.
The introduction of this bill follows several reports concluding that the computer networks of two Florida county offices were hacked by Russians during the 2016 election.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who serves on the Committee of Foreign Relations told Business Insider:
“If anyone tells you that Florida or any state in the country is prepared to handle that, I don’t believe that’s true,” Rubio said. “It almost feels like what they did in 2016 is probing those things in the future because…they wanted to create havoc around the world.”
Read the full text of Rep. Murphy’s Letter to Florida State Secretary Lee here and below.
The Honorable Laurel M. Lee
Secretary of State
Florida Department of State
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Dear Secretary Lee:
I applaud your recent budget request to create a cybersecurity unit to safeguard Florida’s election infrastructure. As we approach the upcoming election cycle, it is imperative that the State makes a serious investment in cybersecurity to ensure that our elections are secure. It is my sincere hope that the state legislature approves your request as quickly as possible.
With 21 states identified as potential targets of Russian interference in the 2016 election, it is critical that we take any necessary action now in order to prevent additional interference in 2020 and beyond. This is especially important in Florida, where at least two counties’ election systems were infiltrated by the Russian government.
Thank you again for your leadership on election security in the Sunshine State. Our elections are one of the most critical components of our democracy, and voters should feel confident that their vote is protected from foreign interference.
If I can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Member of Congress