Miami Valley officials address cybersecurity concerns, say votes cast are safe

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Following Wednesday night’s announcement from national intelligence officials that Iran and Russia have worked to interfere with the presidential election, officials in the Miami Valley are assuring voters that their ballots cast are secure and several safeguards are in place to prevent cyber attacks.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Wednesday night that Ohio has not been impacted by Iranian and Russian election meddling efforts.

“I’m not surprised,” Montgomery County Board of Elections director Jan Kelly said of the news. “We’ve been prepared for that for a number of years here with our cybersecurity training.”

That extensive training is required each year to prevent cyber attacks, Kelly said.

But voting equipment, which keeps tallies of ballots cast, isn’t hooked up to the internet, said Adam Lawson, cybersecurity liaison for the Montgomery County Board of Elections. And there’s no way to track who someone voted for, he added.

“Our election security is top-notch,” Lawson said. “It’s the best in the world. And the state of Ohio and Montgomery County, in particular, we are definitely one of the leaders.”

“One thing about our registration records, they’re public records, so somebody doesn’t have to hack into a database to get the information,” said Llyn McCoy, director of the Greene County Board of Elections.

Some voters who spoke with 2 NEWS said although they’re concerned about election security, they feel confident their ballots are protected.

“The elections are probably as secure as they would be almost any other year,” said Stuart Pyclik. “I can’t imagine that this is the only election that foreign governments or organizations have tried to meddle.”

“You absolutely worry about it,” said Ray Meier, another voter. “But there’s not a lot we can do except come out and vote and just hope that they be secure.”

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