Your vote counts!
My duty is to enhance public confidence in the electoral process by providing accurate, fair and secure elections. Please do not hesitate to call or stop by to ask a question. It is truly an honor to serve you, the voters of Flagler County.
- Kaiti Lenhart
You may wonder why there so much media attention on election security. The answer is simple, it’s because your vote matters! Voter confidence in the electoral process is a contributing factor to participation and turnout. This page has been developed as a resource to help voters learn what the Flagler County Supervisor of Elections is doing to protect your vote.
Critical Infrastructure Designation
Our nation’s elections were designated as critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security in January 2017. This important designation allows local election officials many free resources, including access to the latest cybersecurity intelligence information from the DHS. The Flagler County Elections Office has developed a strong partnership with the DHS to improve our cyber and physical security protections.
Joint Election Security Initiative
In May 2019, Governor DeSantis announced a statewide plan to evaluate and enhance the security of local election systems. This plan will include an assessment and remediation of potential issues, similar to the network security analysis we performed in April 2018, ahead of the midterm elections. Flagler County will participate in this important statewide security plan, which is in addition to many improvements we have scheduled for the upcoming Presidential election year.
Flagler County Election Security Measures
The following topics are highlighted on our Election Security Fact Sheet, which explains the current security protocols in place in Flagler County.
Decentralized Elections in Florida
Each of Florida’s 67 counties maintain their own local voter registration database and voting system. There is no single point of entry to affect outcome.
Paper Ballots Only
All voters in Flagler County cast their vote using a paper ballot, which allows for a full audit of an election. Our previous voting system was 18 years old and replacement parts were no longer manufactured. Refurbished parts were being used for maintenance repairs. When the Legislature outlawed the use of electronic touch-screen tabulators, each Florida county was required to be in compliance by 2020. Supervisor Lenhart lead negotiations with the Department of State in 2015 with two other Supervisors of Elections to secure Federal grant funding for the purchase of new voting systems in 13 counties in the state of Florida. A Federal grant of over $147,000 was secured for Flagler County for the purchase of new equipment. We upgraded ahead of the state-mandated deadline and in time for the 2018 election cycle. Flagler County’s voters now have state-of-the-art voting equipment with the latest patches and security upgrades. The historic recount of 2018 was a success due to the implementation of this new voting system.
Flagler County’s voter registration database and vote tabulation database are maintained independently on separate servers for a full reconciliation of ballots cast versus total voter turnout.
The tabulation server is held in a closed network with no Internet access.
Electronic poll books are used at each Election Day polling site with a backup paper copy at every precinct. Our electronic poll books were upgraded just before the Primary Election in August 2018 using our allocated portion of Florida’s Election Security grant, an amount over $112,000 for Flagler County.
Office software patches and updates are installed on a regular schedule. Cyber hygiene procedures are in place which include network pen testing and monitoring by a third-party.
Every piece of equipment being used in an election is tested thoroughly prior to each election. Our testing procedures in Flagler County are above and beyond the state requirements and our equipment and procedures testing period may last for several months.
The logic and accuracy testing of the voting system is held during a public meeting of the Canvassing Board.
Rigorous ballot reconciliation procedures compare the number of ballots and voters throughout the process and apply to all voting methods including mail ballots, those cast during early voting and Election Day. These procedures are performed several times each day, comparing the number of voters checked in to the amount of ballots distributed to the number of votes cast on the tabulator versus the number of blank ballots remaining.
Our procedures require precinct totals be reconciled with composite results to confirm they equal the reported results from each precinct and vote type.
After each election, the Canvassing Board randomly selects one race and one precinct to be audited during a public meeting. A manual, hand count of the ballots is compared to the machine totals. Each of the manual audits over the past nine years have been 100% accurate.