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Secretaries of State from across the nation talk election security at annual conference

Secretaries of State from across the nation are in Washington to talk about how to keep votes secure heading into the 2020 election. (Source: Gray DC)
Secretaries of State from across the nation are in Washington to talk about how to keep votes secure heading into the 2020 election. (Source: Gray DC)(GRAYDC)
Published: Jan. 31, 2020 at 9:46 AM EST
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The nation's top election officials from each state are in the Washington, D.C. for an annual winter conference.

As the 2020 election voting season starts up in just a few days, the Secretaries are discussing how to keep each person's vote secure.

Over the four day conference, the bipartisan leaders will discuss poll accessibility, how to protect against ransomware attacks, ways to counter foreign interference and fraud detection.

Alabama's Secretary of State John Merrill (R-AL) said they are updating machines and computers to ensure the election will be as smooth as possible. He said he is confident they are doing what they can to make sure election day will be secure in Alabama.

Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D-CO) said Colorado has one of the safest election models in the nation. She said none of the equipment is connected to the Internet.

Griswold said she is hoping to share her knowledge with other Secretaries and intelligence partners at the conference.

“The fact that Coloradans, even register to vote early, register to vote even on election day, vote their mail-in ballot, go vote in person shines in stark contrast to the voter suppression we see across the nation. And we really want to encourage other states to adopt our model to make sure every eligible citizen can have their voice heard," she said.

Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs said she is excited to be in Washington joining other leaders to promote democracy. She says protecting elections is a matter of national security.

Hughs said while in Texas, she is traveling around the state meeting with election administrators ahead of the upcoming elections. She is excited to learn from other leaders at the conference about tactics they are using to keep their state elections safe.

“It’s continuous improvement, continuous assessment of what the security threats might be, but it’s really important that the public know that all of the briefings we’ve received fortunately have shown that our elections are in fact secure. We just need to make sure people know that and continue to have faith in the system," Hughs said.

The conference continues into the weekend.

Watch the full interviews with attending Secretaries above.

Copyright 2020 Gray DC. All rights reserved.

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