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New Hampshire Ramps Up Cybersecurity for Midterm Elections

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Dan Tuohy / NHPR
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New Hampshire State House: the Secretary of State's office is working to ensure the security and integrity of elections.

New Hampshire is spending about $250,000 to improve cybersecurity for the midterm elections.

The money is part of a funding package that New Hampshire requested from the federal government in June for improving security and voter accessibility.  

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan says the state has hired firms to test the security of its online voter database and to monitor the "dark web" to see if hackers are targeting New Hampshire.

"What we are doing is preemptive," he said. "We are not aware of any breach of our system."

 

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Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR
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New Hampshire is spending part of a $3-million federal grant to ramp up cybersecurity during the 2018 midterms.

New Hampshire received over $3 million from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission earlier this summer. In addition to hiring cybersecurity firms, Scanlan says the state is also training election workers in cybersecurity.

The state has also embarked on changes that would ensure the ballots of disabled voters cannot be distinguished from conventional ballots.

Scanlan says most voters will not notice a change at the voting booth this election season. He says election officials will continue to systematically save and make paper copies of the voter database, in case a breach occurs.

 

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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