PROVIDENCE, R.I., (WJAR) — Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea announced Monday that $100,000 will be split among the state's 39 cities and towns to strengthen voting systems and improve the election process.
Gorbea said, “The goal is to make sure that they can protect their systems. So they're gonna try to use it whether it be for virus-scanning software, it could be a training program to put all of your municipal employees on to make sure that they know how to identify phishing emails.”
It comes at a time when Gorbea said U.S. elections continue to face threats.
“We're absolutely under attack by a number of foreign actors and maybe even domestic actors in ways that most people can't even readily identify,” Gorbea said.
The amount of money that each city and town will receive depends on the number of people who voted there in the 2018 general election. Each municipality will get at least a $1,000 grant.
Gorbea said, “They're small grants. It's not a huge amount of money, but it is something that we hope will help protect the integrity of elections.”
Providence, the largest city in the state, will receive about $11,000. The next two biggest cities - Cranston and Warwick - will get more than $8,000.
“The grants are for the protection of the Internet systems of the cities and towns,” Gorbea said. “The hardware for voting, the equipment has already been purchased by the state and that will not be changing at all.”