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Lee County taking new fraud prevention measures to protect votes

Posted at 7:16 PM, Aug 20, 2018

After recent concerns about the possibility of hackers tampering in elections, Lee County election officials are determined to keep votes secure during Florida's 2018 primary election. 

Lee County Supervisor of Elections Tommy Doyle said his office has been fielding a lot of calls from voters concerned about the potential of hackers meddling in the election.

"I am concerned about it, but I'm not sure how much we can do about it," said Barbara Scott, who cast her ballot Monday at the early voting site in the library in downtown Fort Myers.

Doyle believes the concerns are not substantiated, he said thousands of dollars are being spent to beef up election security.

"We started taking steps in January," Doyle said Monday, the third day of Lee County's early voting period. "We hired a cyber-security firm that came in and gave us a road map to more security. We implemented some intrusion blocking and detection systems."

Software used to count votes isn't connected to the internet anywhere in Florida, making it even more difficult for hackers to interfere. Doyle said a federal grant is paying for the new measures, as well as physical security.

"As far as early voting sites, we are actually guarding those sites 24 hours a day until early voting is over," he said, adding that deputies also guard sites where votes are being tabulated.

Karl Wade of North Fort Myers, who mailed in his ballot Monday, believes election officials are doing everything necessary to keep hackers from tampering in the election.

"I believe everything's going to be hunky-dory," Wade said. "They know how to solve it now. They've had a test run."