ORLANDO, Fla. — More than $2.3 million will go to dozens of Florida counties for election security and equipment ahead of the 2020 White House race, one month after a Spectrum News report detailed millions of dollars in federal funds that went unspent.
- State reallocated more than $2.3 million to 55 counties
- Many counties had to forfeit part of their federal aid before 2018 midterms
- Counties upgraded computer, security systems, bought new equipment
- PREVIOUS STORY: Florida Counties Forced to Return $1.4M in Election Security Funds
The Florida Department of State just approved an additional $2.3 million for 55 counties in Florida.
At $524,838, Orange County received the largest chunk of money of any county in the state.
According to the Florida Department of State, the money comes from a redistribution of unexpended funds that the governor has requested go to enhance election security.
Cyber threats continue to remain one of the big fears for the 2020 presidential election. Russian hackers were able to infiltrate two Florida counties during the 2016 election, one of those was Washington County.
Although hackers were not able to change the results, it did put pressure on lawmakers, who earlier this year approved an additional $2.8 million for election security.
This extra $2.3 million just announced will be used for more equipment and tools to help.
Right now the Department of State is conducting a thorough assessment of Florida's election system to look for any weaknesses at the state or county level.
Anything that is identified, the state says, will be addressed prior to the 2020 presidential preference primary next March.
All Central Florida counties, except Seminole County, received some of the $2.3 million in grant money:
- Brevard County: $87,957
- Flagler County: $3,863
- Lake County: $46,096
- Miami-Dade: $210,000
- Manatee County: $138,000
- Marion County: $12,140
- Orange County: $524,838
- Osceola County: $34,260
- Sumter County: $16,741
- Volusia County: $317,211
Florida received $19.2 million for election security from the federal government in 2018. At least part of the money was allocated to counties for their own needs.
However, dozens of counties were forced to forfeit some of their share of the grant money before the 2018 midterms. That is because, according to many election officials, the state set requirements that were too stringent, including short deadlines.
Much of the money was used to upgrade computer and security systems and buy new equipment.
To see the full list of county security grant funds, head to the Florida Department of State website.