NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As the presidential election looms in less than two months, many ask if their vote will be safe.
It was among the many topics at a recent election cybersecurity workshop that included input from Tennessee.
The University of Southern California School for Communication and Journalism took the election security topic to a variety of Tennesseans including the secretary of state.
“Our voting machines are air-gapped, which means they are not connected to the internet,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett during the workshop.
Elections come under his office, but Secretary Hargett sees a different threat long before people vote.
“We cannot control misinformation,” added Hargett. “Either deliberately or inadvertently especially on social media platforms, misinformation can cause citizens to easily lose faith in our election system.”
The secretary of state suggested going to trusted sources like local election commissions for real information about the voting process.
Then there are claims sometimes heard about voter fraud from every corner of the political spectrum.
“In Tennessee, we do not have a rampant voter fraud problem but if you have ever lost an election or cared about an election that was decided by a handful of votes, you know that every vote matters,” Secretary Hargett told the workshop.
That scenario played out in 2016 when more than 100-thousand votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin gave Donald Trump the presidency.
In 2000, a few hundred Florida votes won the White House for George W. Bush.
In just a month, Tennesseans can begin early voting.
Secretary Hargett of added that about a third of Tennesseans qualify to vote absentee by mail.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.