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Lawson Assures Hoosiers Their Votes, Information Are Safe

Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson wants to reassure Hoosiers that their votes will be secure when they go to the polls.

Arizona and Illinois had their voter registration systems breached in 2016, putting states across the country on alert, including Indiana. Connie Lawson says the state has invested in detection and prevention systems. She says a private cybersecurity firm will monitor attempts to infiltrate state voter databases – scans, she says, that happen all the time.

“It’s like a burglar coming up to your front door and rattling the door handle to see if the house is locked," Lawson says. "Our house is locked.”

Lawson says security measures go beyond technology upgrades – for instance, with private companies that help supply election equipment.

“By requiring vendors to have background checks for all of their employees and requiring vendors to file a statement of any foreign ownership in their companies,” Lawson says.

Many have criticized Indiana for not investing enough money into election security measures – and Lawson previously said lawmakers didn't provide the funding levels she initially wanted.

Lawson does note the state recently moved its voter registration data to a private server – something she says federal authorities told her will significantly help protect it.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.