While the state elections board unveils details about its Cyber Navigator Program to help local election officials secure cyberspace, some county clerks are worried about the security of aging voting machines. The Illinois State Board of Elections held a public hearing Wednesday outlining its plan to offer up a central network for local elections officials for improved cybersecurity. The plan includes hiring 9 cyber navigators that will go around the state assessing vulnerabilities in the 108 different local election jurisdictions. While acknowledging some smaller jurisdictions can definitely use the help, Logan County Clerk Sally Turner said one of her chief concerns is voting machines. “It’s really getting old and if your county doesn’t have a lot of money, that makes it difficult to be able to go out and purchase election equipment and that’s something we’re all needing very quickly,” Turner said.
Turner said her county has a great information technology staff on hand, but the electronic voting machines they bought in 2002 are becoming outdated.
ISBE Executive Director Steve Sandvoss said county clerks shouldn’t expect to see such funds anytime soon.
“So unless the legislature comes up with a significant amount of money or the federal government comes up with another grant far larger than this, I don’t see money available in the near future for replacing voting machines,” Sandvoss said.