As the threat of another attempted cyberattack hovers ominously over Florida’s 2018 election, voting officials in the state are livid at U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for claiming they are “overconfident” and not taking the possibility seriously enough. “That’s just not the case,” said Clay County Supervisor of Elections Chris Chambless. “We are all deeply concerned about the threat and are taking steps to limit the exposure. I thought that his comments were very inaccurate.” Rubio made his remarks in mid-April at a Florida Association of Counties meeting in Washington. “I don’t think they fully understand the nature of the threat,” Rubio said. Taken aback by Rubio’s criticism, Chambless and a second supervisor, Dana Southerland of Taylor County, separately tried to speak to Rubio. Both told the Times/Herald they got no response from his office.
“I’m standing by,” Chambless said in a tone of sarcasm, as if waiting for a phone call from Washington. “I know it’s coming.”
Said Southerland, president of the state association of election supervisors: “I’m not really sure where he’s getting his information.” She said such criticism “erodes the voters’ confidence in the election.”
A third supervisor, Pasco’s Brian Corley, also said Rubio’s initial remarks were inaccurate. Corley said he and his colleagues are “hyper-vigilant” about cyber threats and are continuously updating their contingency plans.