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Gov. Ron DeSantis order elections security review

TALLAHASSEE — Describing it as a “top priority,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday directed Secretary of State Laurel Lee to immediately start a review of the security of state and county elections systems after disclosures about Russian hacking during the 2016 campaign.

In a one-page letter to Lee, the state’s top elections official, DeSantis indicated the review will focus on cybersecurity and involve all 67 counties.

“The Department (of State) shall develop a plan to identify and address any vulnerabilities,” the letter said. “You are further directed to make this a top priority of the department and report your findings to the Executive Office of the Governor upon completion of your review.”

The directive came eight days after DeSantis held a news conference to announce that the FBI had advised him that election records in two counties were hacked by Russians in 2016. DeSantis said he had signed a non-disclosure agreement that barred him from identifying the two counties, but the Washington Post and Politico subsequently reported that rural Washington County in the Panhandle was one of the targets.

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