Michigan appointed its first-ever elections security specialist for the upcoming 2020 presidential election. The person tasked with upholding the state’s election security is Ashiya Brown who previously worked as an audit and database management expert in the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Bureau of Elections spokesman Shawn Starkey told the Free Press this new position will work with state and federal partners to “assess, train and communicate” with local election officials on the finest election security techniques.
“The security of our elections in Michigan has always been of paramount importance to all of my predecessors, and you’ve not seen evidence of the types of potential threats that have impacted systems in other states,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said.
Benson also added Michigan must be prepared for election threats because they will continue to evolve.
Election security has become a hot button issue after the United States government determined the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election. Also, hackers were able to access systems in Illinois, an Arizona county database, a Tennessee state website and a Florida information technology vendor, according to Reuters.
Michigan is seen as a key swing state that will help determine the next presidential election. In 2016, President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by less than 11,000 votes in Michigan.
Trump’s approval rating in Michigan has gone down 21 percentage points since he became president, according to Morning Consult.
Early polls show Trump losing Michigan to many of the Democratic presidential candidates. However, this not stopping the GOP from building up infrastructure in the Great Lakes State.
“Here in Michigan, we have already held over 75 TVLI trainings this cycle and have trained over 1,400 volunteers and activists who now have the tools necessary to aggressively recruit their neighbors and turn them into supporters, build out their own field teams, and turnout targeted voters to win up-and-down the ballot in 2020,” a GOP July memo read.
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