With less than two months until the November election, the Wisconsin Elections Commission has hired several new staff members to help with election security. The federal government awarded the commission nearly $7 million in grants for election security. “We’re using a significant amount of that money on hiring new people, as well as for system enhancements for security,” said Reid Magney, public information officer for the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The elections commission will hold a meeting on Aug. 25 to ask clerks and members of the public how they should spend the rest of the grant money.
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism published a report this week detailing ways hackers could attack Wisconsin’s elections and what state officials are doing about it.
In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security informed 21 states, including Wisconsin, they were targeted by Russian operatives. At the time, federal officials acknowledged that a number of the attempts were successful but did not say where the successful attempts occurred.
“Since 2016, before we even knew that the Russians were looking at our system, we’ve been working very hard on elections systems, security, emergency planning and training for clerks,” Magney said.