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Coronavirus Has Upended Election Security Training with Just Months Before November


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A voter in Warren City Hall in Warren, MI, last week.

The University of Southern California Election Security Initiative is scrambling to train campaign and election officials across the U.S. before the November Presidential election.

Credit: Carlos Osorio/AP

The University of Southern California (USC)'s Election Security Initiative is scrambling to virtually train campaign and election officials across the U.S. before the November elections, an effort upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

The project originally aimed to host in-person trainings nationwide and allow attendees to connect with experts at local universities to help them prepare for cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, and related threats from adversaries.

New challenges presented by the pandemic include preparing for more voting by mail, and ensuring officials have mailing, envelope stuffing, and sorting technology to accommodate that spike.

The initiative also is holding shorter training sessions via videoconference than it used to host in person, while postponed primaries add another layer of security problems by compounding skeptical voters' vulnerability to disinformation.

Initiative executive director Adam Clayton Powell III said, “Security concerns now are more urgent in almost all cases because the virus has really exacerbated security issues.”

From The Washington Post
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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