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Local

Grundy County cybersecurity in place for March 20 election

Illinois elections board hacked in 2016, but not county information

Grundy County Clerk Kay Olson reported that her office is ready for the March 20 General Primary election, and that her office has worked with the county's information technology department to ensure the election is secure.
Grundy County Clerk Kay Olson reported that her office is ready for the March 20 General Primary election, and that her office has worked with the county's information technology department to ensure the election is secure.

MORRIS – The tech behind Grundy County's elections is ready and safe from interfernece, Grundy County Clerk Kay Olson told her county board committee on Wednesday. The question was raised because the Illinois State Board of Elections had been hit by hackers in the run-up to the 2016 elections.

"Voter registration database is what was compromised," Olson said. "It was not any of the county's data ... They have been revamped and feel theirs is very secure.

"As far as what's on our end, I feel very, very confident in what we have in place."

Olson credited the actions of the county's information technology director,Tim Doss, with securing the county's election systems.

"We've had two penetration testings done by independent firms," Doss told the committee. "Both come back without any red findings, which is very unheard of."

Among the actions the county took to secure its computer systems is taking action on information the FBI sends out on risky IP addresses that are known intrustion points. There is also an outside cyversecurity officer that watches all of the county's logs for suspicious activity.

"He'll tell me in real time if something pops up," Doss said. "I feel very confortable with what we have in place ... We tried to pull out every conceivable way someone can get in."

On Election Day and at polling places, Olson said there will be no WiFi connection Instead, everything is hardwired and stand alone.

In other preparations, Olson said the public equipment testing has been completed and and so have the five trainings for election judges.

"We have 150 judges," she said.

Early voting at the county clerk's office is now ongoing. The general primary election will be March 20. Polls in Grundy County will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. A list of polling places is available on the Grundy County website.

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