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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Orange County elections office says 'no intrusion' after Bill Nelson declares Russians breached Florida voter system

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 6:42 PM

The Orange County Supervisor of Elections office says its unaware of any "unauthorized intrusion" into its system after U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson declared Wednesday that Russian operatives had "penetrated" some of Florida's voter registration systems.

Nelson made the comments Wednesday to the Tampa Bay Times.

"They have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about," Nelson told the Times. "We were requested by the chairman and vice chairman of the intelligence committee to let the supervisors of election in Florida know that the Russians are in their records."

Last month, Nelson and Sen. Marco Rubio sent a letter to county elections supervisors across the state, telling them to take advantage of federal help
to make systems more secure against a "hostile foreign government." But the Florida Department of State has pushed back against Nelson's recent statements, saying it has received "zero information from Senator Nelson or his staff that support his claims."

"The Department has received no information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that corroborates Senator Nelson's statement and we have no evidence to support these claims," the agency said in a statement. "If Senator Nelson has specific information about threats to our elections, he should share it with election officials in Florida."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security told the Times Thursday that it had also not seen "any new compromises by Russian actors of election infrastructure."

The Orange County Supervisor of Elections office says safeguards are in place to ensure that every eligible voter is able to cast a ballot and every ballot cast is counted.

"We are unaware of, and have received no confirmation of, any unauthorized intrusion into our election systems," according to a statement from the office. "We continue to work with federal and state resources to secure our systems and have full confidence in the integrity of our elections."

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