Election officials say as many as one billion cyber attacks come in daily

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – As we approach Election Day, state officials say they are blocking up to one billion attempts from hackers every day.

They say they are on the front lines of this daily battle, and you can rest assured your vote will be counted.

Election Day is five weeks away, and this mid-term election is expected to draw a bigger crowd than usual.

“We also have things on the ballot that have never been on the ballot before. This may be the most complicated ballot we’ve ever had,” said Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, (R) Ut.

As big issues like medical marijuana, Medicaid expansion, and education funding draw attention from voters, hackers are also working hard to interfere.

“We are attacked daily by foreign hackers, Russia, China and elsewhere. Our state systems are under constant attack,” said Cox.

He says those attacks are not successful.

He says they stay ahead of it by teaming up with Homeland Security, new monitoring software and other daily measures.

But, it’s important to note voting machines are not connected online. The threat comes to other state systems.

“Our websites, obviously are out and open to the public. So, voter registration, vote.utah.gov, our elections.utah.gov websites are all available to the public,” said Mark Mitchell, Director of Election Systems.

As state officials push back, they say all Utahns play a role in fighting the interference.

“Be very wary of anything that you read on social media, especially something that doesn’t come from a trusted source,” said Cox.

This year, the Elections Office is also taking an extra step to watch over the controversy that has unfolded in San Juan County.

“We are concerned enough about what is going on and want to make sure things are working right, that we are actually going to have a person from our office there on Election Day,” said Director of Elections Justin Lee.

Another thing helping with election security is paper ballots. Thanks to vote-by-mail, Cox expects 90% of all votes to come in on a paper ballot.

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...