DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — With nine weeks left until the November election, Ohio’s Secretary of State is requiring local election offices to make additional cybersecurity changes.

Directive 2023-16, or Security Directive 4.0, is the fourth cybersecurity directive handed down by Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

This new implementation will have all boards of elections take part in a phishing assessment to see how vulnerable they might be to phishing attempts of varying complexity. Each county website will also be assessed for its risk level and possible ways it could be hacked.

In addition, all permanent board of elections members must undergo a background check, as well as other measures, to ensure they are keeping voters’ information and ballots secure.

The directive also offers grants of up to $10,000 to help boards of elections implement these new guidelines. Boards of elections have until Sept. 29 to submit their grant forms to be eligible for the funding.

“Today’s technology is constantly changing, which means hackers and bad actors are constantly updating their arsenals to attack our systems,” said LaRose.

“Our focus and hard work over the last four years to implement a strong foundation of cybersecurity protections at both the state and county level in Ohio help us thwart these attacks. This vigilance plays a large role in Ohio’s gold standard elections.”

For more information about Security Directive 4.0, click here.