Sixteen states have formally applied for federal money to improve their election security in advance of the 2018 vote. Florida is not yet one of them. The state’s chief elections officer, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, says: “We’ve been working on it daily.” The state hasn’t specifically said why up until this week it hasn’t sought the money. Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday ordered Detzner to seek Florida’s $19 million share of a $380 million fund, part of a spending bill that President Donald J. Trump signed in March. Scott also directed Detzner to hire five cyber-security experts.
To get the money, states must submit a 2-to-3 page narrative overview of activities to be supported with the money and a line item budget within 90 days of a notice of a grant award.
The federal Election Assistance Commission, in bold, underscored text, says on its web site that “awards will be issued and funds available for drawdown prior to receipt of the plan overview to expedite and support any needed expenditures prior to the 2018 election.”