Wisconsin

Articles about voting issues in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin: Adams County clerk resigns following investigation into unauthorized computer access | WKOW

A meeting to hear charges against Cindy Phillippi was scheduled for Wednesday morning. But the hearing was canceled after Phillippi, through her attorney, submitted a 5-page resignation agreement to the Adams County Board during a closed door session Tuesday night. The resignation is effective Wednesday. The agreement does not include an admission of liability. Phillippi will be on paid leave through the end of the year. Board Chair John West said she will continue to provide consultation during the transition period. Read More

Wisconsin: Elections Commission hires new staff aimed at increasing elections security | WISC

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. Read More

Wisconsin: How Hackers Could Attack Wisconsin’s Elections And What State Officials Are Doing About It | Wisconsin Public Radio

A private vendor inadvertently introduces malware into voting machines he is servicing. A hacker hijacks the cellular modem used to transmit unofficial Election Day results. An email address is compromised, giving bad actors the same access to voting software as a local elections official. These are some of the potential vulnerabilities of Wisconsin’s election system described by cybersecurity experts. State officials insist they are on top of the problem and that Wisconsin’s elections infrastructure is secure because, among other safeguards, voting machines are not connected to the internet and each vote is backed by a paper ballot to verify results. In July, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reported that Russian hackers have targeted websites of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, the state Department of Workforce Development and municipalities including Ashland, Bayfield and Washburn. Elections in this swing state are administered by 1,853 municipal clerks, 72 county clerks and the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Read More

Wisconsin: State tries to avoid voter data breach that happened in Illinois | Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

Wisconsin officials say they have taken multiple steps in recent months to guard against the type of attack that Russian hackers unleashed on Illinois when they allegedly stole data from hundreds of thousands of Illinois voters before the 2016 election. But the August rollout of vote tallying through the WisVote system — in which clerks inadvertently reported duplicate votes in nine counties — shows more work needs to be done. In 2016, cyber actors gained access to 200,000 voter records in Illinois, according to an April report from FireEye, a California-based cybersecurity firm. Read More

Wisconsin: Stolen Votes: Understanding the real cybersecurity threats to Wisconsin elections | The Milwaukee Independent

A private vendor inadvertently introduces malware into voting machines he is servicing. A hacker hijacks the cellular modem used to transmit unofficial Election Day results. An email address is compromised, giving bad actors the same access to voting software as a local elections official. These are some of the potential vulnerabilities of Wisconsin’s election system described by cybersecurity experts. State officials insist they are on top of the problem and that Wisconsin’s elections infrastructure is secure because, among other safeguards, voting machines are not connected to the internet and each vote is backed by a paper ballot to verify results. In July, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reported that Russian hackers have targeted websites of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, the state Department of Workforce Development and municipalities including Ashland, Bayfield and Washburn. Elections in this swing state are administered by 1,853 municipal clerks, 72 county clerks and the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Read More

Wisconsin: Democrats revive gerrymandering lawsuit to block election maps in 2020 | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Democrats renewed their gerrymandering fight Friday with a pair of lawsuits over election maps that have helped Republicans maintain big margins in the state Assembly. An expanded group of Democratic voters filed a new version of their long-running lawsuit on Friday, three months after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously found the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to bring an earlier version of their suit. Just hours later, the campaign operation for the Democratic members of the Assembly filed a separate suit. The group asked to consolidate its case with the other one. The new filings, submitted to a three-judge court in Madison, were aimed at addressing legal flaws identified by the high court and giving the Democrats a chance to challenge the maps for all 99 of the state’s Assembly seats. Read More

Wisconsin: Election Experts Recommend Paper Ballots For 2020 Election | Wisconsin Public Radio

A new national report from election and hacking experts is calling for states to make some changes before the 2020 presidential election. The report, which was written by a panel of experts on computer science and election administration, recommends states use paper ballots, whether they are counted by hand or machine, because they can’t be tampered with online and can be re-counted if necessary. It also recommends increasing state funding for election administration, including training for workers. Kevin Kennedy, the former director of Wisconsin’s elections agency, served on the committee that wrote the report. He noted Wisconsin already uses paper ballots, which were used in the 2016 presidential recount, but he believes the state hasn’t funneled enough money into training for election workers. “They’ve always been behind the eight ball on that,” Kennedy said. “They could always use more funding.” Read More

Wisconsin: Experts discuss vulnerabilities in Wisconsin elections | The Badger Herald

The League of Women Voters of Dane County hosted a forum Wednesday on protecting Wisconsin’s elections amid questions surrounding foreign influence in the 2016 presidential election. Panelists included University of Wisconsin political science professor Barry Burden, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism managing editor and co-founder Dee Hall and Richard Rydecki from the Wisconsin Elections Commission. While the panelists agreed that Wisconsin elections are vulnerable to security threats, they disagreed on what could cause significant errors. Read More

Wisconsin: Voters Worry About Ballot Security, Officials Say All’s Well | WUWM

Tuesday is primary election day in Wisconsin. With races for governor, U.S. Senate and other offices, turnout is expected to be the highest since the presidential election in November 2016. Donald Trump’s win in that election spurred a lot of national concern over election tampering. While some voters still aren’t sure the system is secure, Wisconsin officials say the public shouldn’t be worried about ballot security. After early voting last week at the Zeidler Municipal Building in downtown Milwaukee, Anthony Brown said he considers hacking of voting machines a legitimate threat. “Anything that somebody can access from the other side of the world — I mean anywhere — any computer-oriented person can dictate what’s going on inside of that machine,” Brown said. Read More

Wisconsin: Activists push Wisconsin to audit voting machines in advance of 2018 midterms | Daily Dot

As reports of Russian interference in the 2016 election (and continued potential interference in American election matters) keep bubbling up, Wisconsin, a key swing state, has learned its voting machines appear to be vulnerable to hacking. Five elections experts told the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism that the state’s voting systems are able to be hacked, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reports. According to the report, our increasingly “modern” voting systems are subject to a variety of issues that can affect election outcomes. While outside hacking is one possibility, human error, dust bunnies on the machines’ optical scanners, and other issues are commonplace. A number of activists are pushing for more stringent election audits in order to ensure that votes are counted accurately and reflect voters’ choices. Read More