TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - As Election Day grows near, President Donald Trump is still publicly casting doubt on the safety of Florida's vote-by-mail election process. The woman responsible for making sure Florida's election runs smoothly spoke with CW44 News At 10's election expert, Jim DeFede to address reports of foreign interference and her confidence in Florida's vote-by-mail process.
"What Florida voters need to know is that first, our database is secure, they used publicly available information. And second, our ballot is secret. No one will ever know how for how a voter chooses to vote or who they vote for," said Florida Secretary of State, Laurel Lee.
Last week, an email was sent to Democratic voters in Florida and other states, reportedly from the right-wing group, the Proud Boys, stating in part, 'You are currently registered as a Democrat. And we know this because we have gained access into the entire voting infrastructure. You will vote for Trump on election day, or we will come after you.' On Wednesday, federal authorities said the email didn't come from the Proud Boys, but Iran, who along with Russia had a simple goal. To attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos, and undermine your confidence in American democracy.
Florida Secretary of State Laura Lee said the state is ready. "This is a very serious threat and we do expect these types of actors to continue trying to interfere by using misinformation and disinformation around our elections. We've invested millions in upgrading our election systems, we are stronger than we have ever been."
Unfortunately for election officials, Russia and Iran aren't the only ones undermining confidence in our elections. On Saturday after President Trump voted in person in Florida, he again spread the falsehood that voting by mail was not secure. "It was a very secure vote, much more secure than when you send in a ballot. I could tell you that. Everything was perfect, very strict. Right by the rules when you send in your ballot - [it] could never be like that could never be secure like that."
DeFede asked of Lee, "If voting by mail secure and does it make your job harder when the President throws doubt on whether or not voting by mail is secure?" Lee responded confidently, "Voting by mail in Florida is not new. We've been doing this for close to 20 years and much its present form and we have a number of important safeguards in place to ensure the integrity of the process."
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