The Connecticut Elections Cybersecurity Task Force met for the first time on Monday in Hartford.
The taskforce was created by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill in response to the revelation that Russian intelligence agencies scanned Connecticut’s online voter registration system during the 2016 election.
Last week, Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced with Merrill that Connecticut would be receiving a $5.1 million grant from the federal government to help secure the state’s voter registration system. The funds are part of a $380 million federal initiative.
The task force will report in 90 days with their recommendation on how to spend the funds, a press release from Merrill’s office said.
The task force includes representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Connecticut National Guard, the state government legislative leadership and statewide organizations for Town Clerks, the Registrars of Voters and municipalities, the press release said.
Eight of Connecticut’s voting precincts were randomly selected to be audited in September.
“Protecting the integrity of our elections is my most important role, and Connecticut voters can be proud that we have some of the most stringent audit laws in the country,” Merrill said at the time. “Between making it easier for Connecticut citizens to register and vote, an increased focus on cybersecurity and our scrupulous audit process, the rights of the voter are our highest priority.”
The U.S. and U.K. governments issued a joint warning yesterday about Russian cyberattacks against governments as well as private organizations and individual citizens.
“When we see malicious cyberattacks, whether from the Kremlin or other nation-state actors, we are going to push back,” Rob Joyce, a special assistant to the president and the cybersecurity coordinator for the National Security Council, said.