Under legislation now under consideration by Florida lawmakers, county elections supervisors would be able to withhold information about the ever-present possibility of systems being hacked and voter records being altered.
Those dangers came close to happening in at least four Florida counties in 2016, according to federal intelligence reports.
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Voting rights groups, government watchdogs and members of Florida’s congressional delegation have pushed for greater transparency in disclosing those security breaches, but ameasure by Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, would go the opposite direction.
“We’ve seen in past elections a real invasion from outside sources to try to intimidate and change certain information,” Broxson said Tuesday in introducing the bill (SB 1704). “It happened in my county.”
In its first committee hearing, the bill was cleared without debate or objection. It has two more committees before it reaches the Senate floor. Because the bill expands an existing public records exemption, it will need a two-thirds vote for final passage.
The measure has the full backing of the statewide Florida Supervisors of Elections association, which has made it a legislative priority.
“Florida’s public records laws do not clearly protect information by…