Oregon seeks to protect state election system from Russia

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Officials in charge of Oregon’s elections want the Legislature to fund an internet security position to protect against Russian government interference.

A letter signed by Deputy Secretary of State Leslie Cummings asks lawmakers to provide $166,348 to cover the cost of the security position. The letter says Oregon was one of 21 states targeted by Russian government hacking during the 2016 election.

To combat future potential foreign interference, the department headed by Secretary of State Dennis Richardson — who is the state’s top Republican — told the Legislature’s ways and means committee that it needs the additional staff job. The letter was first reported by The Oregonian/OregonLive and is dated January 8.

The secretary of state’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.