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Florida National Guard to Assist With Election Cybersecurity

The Florida National Guard’s role in election-related missions remained limited as of Monday, even as Guard units across the country mobilize to assist with traffic control at polling sites.

by Ileana Najarro, Tampa Bay Times / November 3, 2020
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(TNS) — The Florida National Guard’s role in election-related missions remained limited as of Monday morning, even as Guard units across the country mobilize to assist with traffic control at polling sites and prepare to respond to any civil unrest following Election Day.

Five Florida National Guard members are assisting the Florida Department of State with a cybersecurity mission to support election officials with network security, said Lt. Col. Caitlin Brown, spokeswoman for the Guard.

In the 2018 mid-term elections, 27 states, including Florida, activated National Guard cybersecurity cells to keep network infrastructure unobstructed, as reported last year by the trade publication Stars and Stripes and confirmed by Brown. This year, cybersecurity missions also were activated across the country.

In Texas, the National Guard plans to activate up to 1,000 troops in preparation for possible post-election civil disturbances, as reported by the San Antonio Express-News.

As of Monday morning, Brown said she was unaware of any official requests for Florida Guard members to address potential unrest.

This summer, the Florida National Guard was activated to assist local law enforcement agencies, including in Tampa, after peaceful protests tied to the death of George Floyd turned violent.

This year, Florida Guard members have also been active in COVID-19-related missions, including offering support at testing sites.

(c)2020 the Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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