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Why IT and election officials should be talking

Happy Super Tuesday. Voters in 15 states and territories are casting ballots in presidential primaries today, meaning election officials are putting their new voting equipment and security technologies to the test. And during a session Monday at the National Association of Counties' legislative conference, speakers told a roomful of county officials that one of the best ways to ensure better election security is to make sure the election officials know and speak regularly with their IT counterparts. When Michael Moore, the information security officer for the county recorder’s office in Maricopa County, Arizona, asked attendees if their counties had IT staff dedicated to elections, only two or three hands went up. “If you’re an elected [official] and do not have a relationship with your IT director, you really ought to talk to them,” he said. Benjamin Freed reports.

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New Mexico names new technology secretary

Monday marked the first day of work for New Mexico’s new IT secretary, John Salazar, a former chief information officer at the state’s workforce and revenue departments. Salazar was appointed Friday by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to lead the New Mexico Department of Information Technology, replacing Vince Martinez, who stepped down from his IT secretary role to “pursue other opportunities,” according to a press release from Lujan Grisham’s office. Salazar will be confronted with some challenges as state CIO, including New Mexico’s status as having one of lowest broadband adoption rates in the country, as well as reports that the department overpaid for $1.8 billion in goods and consulting services because of lax procurement oversight. Colin Wood reports.

Get those StateScoop 50 nominations in

The nomination period for the StateScoop 50 awards, recognizing the people and projects who are redefining state government with technology, runs through Friday. Submit who you think is doing the best and most inspiring work in tech policy, cybersecurity, innovation and IT leadership. Voting begins next month, and winners will be announced in May at StateScoop's reception during NASCIO's midyear conference. Four days to go!

Five traits of successful broadband programs

The Pew Research Center released a report last week comparing the broadband initiatives in nine states, revealing that while there’s no single template for success, successful programs tend to share a few common traits. The programs, which cover 21 million people across nine states, are built on diverse stakeholder engagement, clear policy frameworks, plans to expand service capacity, accountability and flexibility, Pew's researchers found. Colin has more.

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