Seneca County successfully completes LaRose directive to boost election security
[Columbus, OH Feb. 5, 2020] – Today, the Seneca County Board of Elections announced the successful completion of security upgrades required by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.
On June 11, Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued Directive 2019-08, a comprehensive, multi-faceted security strategy for local boards that provides the redundancy required of a strong election system infrastructure. Counties had until January 31 to complete the Secretary’s requirements. The effort has made Ohio the national leader in election security.
Seneca County Board of Elections Deputy Director Lori Ritzler thanked all involved in helping to meet the state’s requirements, including the board’s tech consultant, JEM Network Consulting Services.
“A very heartfelt thank you needs to go out to Dan Mayer, or this would not have been possible,” she said.
Ritzler said the office has worked diligently since June to meet the directive requirements.
“While it has changed how we do many things behind the scenes, the directive makes our elections much more secure,” she said. “We are not done, and the Seneca County Board of Elections will continue to work with the Secretary of State.”
The directive included a checklist of 34 separate requirements that must be met in order to be considered compliant. The specifics of the checklist essentially serve as Ohio’s detailed defense plan against adversaries who seek to disrupt our elections.
The requirements fall under five separate sectors:
· Physical security assessments and improvements
· Background checks of personnel
· Secure website and e-mail domains
· Cyber-attack detection, system hardening and network defense
· Security Training
“The voters in Seneca County should be proud of their local Board of Elections for successfully embracing such a big challenge,” LaRose said. “By elevating their defensive posture, they’ve helped make Ohio a national model for election security.”
In January of 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Election Infrastructure as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. By its very nature, each and every election system is vulnerable to ever changing security environments. By implementing this elevated security posture that is a model for the nation, Ohio will be in the best possible standing to deter any threats to our election system, both foreign and domestic.