Protecting Florida's electoral process

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Florida's 67 elections supervisors are continuing to talk with Homeland Security and the FBI over attempts to hack the voter database in some counties during the 2016 election.

Governor Rick Scott is now proposing money for more security at both the state and local levels.

As many as a dozen of Florida's 67 elections supervisors got suspicious emails last summer and fall that could have led to a breach of the voters database. None were successful says the attorney for the supervisors.

Taylor County Supervisor of Elections Dana Southerland was on the warning call with the FBI and others last year. She is the Supervisors Association President.

We asked if they told her they were in danger of being hacked.

"I don't know that they used those words so to speak, but I think anytime you are dealing with electronics and computers, everybody is prone to something happening," said Southerland.

Governor Rick Scott is asking for a half million dollars to add five people at the state level. In an email, a spokesman for the Secretary of State told us, "The Cybersecurity Unit will bolster current efforts and focus solely on cybersecurity for all of the department's mission critical system."

Another $1.9 million would go to local supervisors.

If the money were divided equally, it wold be just over $28,000 a county that wold go a lot further in a small county than a big one.

Final budget decisions are up to lawmakers, who could decide that supervisors need even more to make sure public confidence in elections isn't eroded.

In addition to cybersecurity money, the governor is also asking for $800,000 to help individuals with disabilities and more than $445,000 for election fraud prevention.