After security concerns in 2016, is Wisconsin ready for upcoming elections?
WISCONSIN (CBS 58) – Politicians are kicking it into high gear ahead of the upcoming elections for Governor and U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, but is the state ready?
Wisconsin Elections Administrator Mike Haas says state government got bad news after the 2016 election.
The Department of Homeland Security concluded, was that Russian government actors had attempted to scan systems of the state of Wisconsin,” says Haas.
They didn’t get in, but the state decided it needed more attention on security.
"Recent events and elevation of election security is an issue. We thought it was time really to present to our commission a comprehensive plan on how we wanted to approach that issue,” said Haas.
Part of that plan is a new state task force focused on cyber security. They’re also working with local clerks.
"The state is now offering security webinars. It's going to be an ongoing process,” says Neil Albrecht, Milwaukee Election Commission Director.
They’ve already released one webinar on basic security tips, in addition to ongoing conversations with local election commissions.
"I think they do a really good job with getting information out to municipal clerks on what you can do to protect their system,” said Brookfield City Clerk, Kelly Michaels.
Election Commissions stressed the online system they’re protecting is the voter registration system.
The actual election results are all taken offline and kept on what’s called a memory stick, similar to a USB but with added security.
The results are then transferred to the county and eventually the state, but paper copies are kept as well as a backup.