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Connie Lawson

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson

INDIANAPOLIS — A national council of election experts, led by Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, is recommending steps to ensure American elections are secure from hacking or tampering.

On Thursday, Lawson and other members of the Election Infrastructure Subsector Government Coordinating Council will urge states and localities to upgrade their election technology and invest in staff with cyber experience at the state and local levels.

"This is a race with no finish line," said Lawson, a Republican who also is president of the National Association of Secretaries of State.

"Failing to invest will leave us less secure than we need to be, and increase the probability that aspects of the election process will face service disruptions that threaten electoral confidence."

Lawson said U.S. intelligence confirms that Russia scanned numerous state voter registration systems leading up to the 2016 election, and in at least one case succeeded in stealing voter data.

At the same time, she insisted that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security believes the systems targeted by Russian agents were not involved in vote tallying.

"Election officials are acutely aware that the systems we manage are targets for bad actors, foreign and domestic, just like many high-profile companies and other government agencies," Lawson said.

"A strong defense requires a coordinated response from all levels of government, the private sector, and you, the voters."

She urged Hoosiers concerned about election security to get involved in the process by serving as poll workers.

"We run elections at the state and local level because this democracy is yours, and it requires your participation," Lawson said.


Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.