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Hack Attempt Highlights Efforts to Secure Ohio Elections

a photo of a computer
The Secretary of State says an unsuccessful hacking attempt by a computer in Panama underscores the need for a comprehensive security plan.

Ohio’s Secretary of State says a recent attempt by a computer in Panama to insert code into his office’s website was unsuccessful. But state leaders say this incident underscores why a comprehensive election security plan must be put in place soon.

Earlier this year, Secretary of State Frank LaRose gave all 88 county boards of election a security directive.

And Aaron Ockerman with the Ohio Association of Elections officials says local boards are on track to have all of those security

enhancements complete by the end of January.


"It includes all kinds of things from physical security, doors, windows, locks – those kinds of things to cybersecurity, passwords, cyber hygiene," Ockerman said.


Ockerman says the directives also include getting local systems to talk to the platform the Secretary of State uses and converting emails to more secure addresses. He says local boards are on schedule to have all of those enhancements fully functioning by the March17 primary.


Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.