This Monday at the Ohio Statehouse, representatives from the University of Southern California (USC) and the Department of Homeland Security spoke to Ohio election workers about cybersecurity. The event was part of USC’s Election Cybersecurity Initiative. The training program, funded by Google, is touring all 50 states.
After sessions covering cybersafety and the spread of misinformation, local officials pointed to Ohio's recent efforts to improve election security in the state. In June 2019, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office issued a directive with 34 security requirements to county boards of elections.
Michelle Wilcox, President of the Ohio Association of Election Officials, spoke about the challenge of meeting the new standards.
“We all thought there was no way that we could accomplish this feat in just seven short months,” Wilcox said. “Let me be honest, the implementation was not an easy task. It was very difficult, with obstacles.”
Secretary of State Frank LaRose said 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties are now fully compliant.
As of Monday, Warren and Clark counties had not yet met the requirements. LaRose said he expects all Ohio counties except Van Wert County to be in compliance by the time early voting begins on February 19.