Wisconsin officials for a year were not told about specific attempts by the Russian government to gain access to the state’s voter registration database, the leaders of the state Elections Commission said Friday. Friday’s statement from the commission comes after a week of conflicting reports about what Russian agents attempted to do and when state and federal officials knew about it. Wisconsin systems were targeted in July and August 2016. Wisconsin officials were aware of the attempts but not that Russian government actors were behind them, according to Friday’s statement and public records. In one of the incidents, the attack was targeted at a different state agency, not the Elections Commission.
Friday’s statement was issued by Mark Thomsen, the commission’s chairman, and Michael Haas, the commission’s administrator and the state’s chief elections officer.
The federal Department of Homeland Security “did not inform (the state Department of Administration) or the Wisconsin Elections Commission of the Russian government’s involvement in those specific attempts” until last week, Thomsen and Haas said in their statement.