Election officials say South Carolina was not one of the 21 states targeted by cyberattacks before last year’s vote — but they’re moving quickly to find help shoring up their defenses. The State Election Commission is seeking proposals this week for a cybersecurity contractor to identify threats, look for holes in the state’s security and find ways to patch them. Agency spokesman Chris Whitmire said the commission is trying to replace an emergency contract it signed last year as concerns of foreign meddling in the presidential election spread across the country.
“We’ve seen no evidence of penetration of our systems. We’re not one of the 21 states mentioned in the hearing last week,” Whitmire said. “So it wasn’t any particular event that caused this. It’s continuing to do everything we can to secure our election systems.”
The new contract is meant as a temporary measure while the state negotiates a longer-term deal for cybersecurity services, Whitmire said. But it comes at a moment when risks to election systems across the country have come into public view. The solicitation, posted last week, also said the state is looking to create a model for hiring temporary help securing elections.