RI officials prepare for potential cybersecurity threats on Election Day

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the general election just 11 days away, local and federal officials are working together to make sure every vote counts.

Jeanette Manfra of the Department of Homeland Security was in Rhode Island on Friday, working with election officials to ensure the voting process is secure.

“Don’t let anybody dissuade you go out and vote,” Manfra said. “We’re doing all we can to ensure all votes are counted and counted correctly.”

State leaders say Rhode Island is prepared for any cybersecurity threat that could potentially happen.

“In 2016, the country, in a lot of ways a number of us were caught off-guard and unprepared for the interference that the Russians were carrying out against us,” Congressman Jim Langevin said. “We will not be caught off guard again.”

“The 2016 election made clear we need to make more improvements and set aside additional resources to protect our elections,” Congressman David Cicilline added.

In addition to $3 million in federal funding, the Department of Homeland Security said there will be a local adviser in the state on Election Day as well.

“Rhode Island is just a leader in both election security and cybersecurity,” Manfra said. “The work that is being done here is being copied elsewhere in the country.”

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea said election security is never done, and it’s never just one precautionary measure. She said the state will have a multifaceted approach on Election Day.

“Our country is facing a real threat by Russians and other foreign actors who want to erode public trust in our elections,” Gorbea said.

Polls will be open on Nov. 6 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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