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Ohio elections chief to back election cybersecurity bill

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s new elections chief is ready to voice his support for a bill he says aims to better protect the battleground state’s election systems from cyberattacks.

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose took office in January. He’s testifying on the measure Tuesday at the Statehouse.

The legislation would empower LaRose’s office and the Ohio National Guard to enhance resilience and improve responsiveness to elections cyberattacks. It also would give LaRose a seat on the Ohio Homeland Security Advisory Council and enable him to hire a chief information security officer.

The bill further requires postelection audits by Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections.

LaRose, a former Green Beret, says the proposal follows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s designation of election systems as part of America’s critical infrastructure in January 2017.

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