In response to reports of attempted Russian "hacking" into Florida voter data, Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel has posted the information below, as well as penned a column for The Orlando Sentinel (click for column) .
2016 Debunk the Bunk (long, but important epilogue): You will be reading news reports today of a purported attempt to access Florida voter registration records by the Russian military. A couple of core facts about this story:
1) Florida voter registrations are public records. Anyone can get them by simply asking their local elections office.
2) The data and physical security measures our office employs for our technology infrastructure are top-notch. We have dug a cyber moat around the data so we can ensure access of sensitive information and systems by only those granted access.
3) We were aware of the cited phishing email the very moment it happened and took measures to ensure we were not impacted.
4) Like everyone who uses email, we are subject to dozens of phishing email scams daily -- we're sophisticated enough to catch them.
5) Important: Even if the bad guys would have accessed our local registration files (which they didn't), those files are in no way connected to vote counting.
6) I've said it hundreds of times, "you can't hack paper." Seminole County votes on trusted paper ballots.
7) In summation: Our election was not hacked by Russians. This whole exercise, however, does highlight two vital tenets of our republic: Elections are best run in our decentralized manner, allowing a greater obstacle for shenanigans; and competent, savvy, independent and principled elections administrators are looking out for you.
8) Like I always close... if anyone is trying to scare you into thinking your legitimate vote won't (or didn't) count, contact your local elections administrator.