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"Serious Problems" with state elections commission, Wisconsin lawmaker says

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Wisconsin Rep. Frederick Kessler, D-Milwaukee, says he’s not convinced Russians impacted the Wisconsin Election, but he thinks losing the state’s top election official makes the state more vulnerable.

“You have to have people who know what in the world is going on,” Kessler said.

Elections Commission Administrator Mike Haas says he will no longer serve in that role after the April 3 election.

A recent NBC News report states Wisconsin was one of seven states Russians were able to hack in some form. The elections commission says that report used outdated information, and they refuted it.

“Wisconsin voters should be confident that we’re protecting our systems, the voter registration system, the poll list, as well as the voting equipment,” Haas said.

The commission said has taken steps to prevent future hacks. Like putting monitoring tools in the election system for suspicious activity, increasing the amount of passwords for system users, and encrypting the voter registration database.

“If something were to happen like what happened in Illinois, where the hackers got in and stole about 80,000 records, the information would be useless because it would be encrypted,” Commission spokesperson Reid Magney said. “It would be like gibberish to them.”

Kessler said a short-staffed commission could also allow people to run for state office in areas they don’t live.

“That probably happens every election,” Kessler said. “There’s probably going to be 15, 20 people who have filed the nomination papers that are going to be thrown off the ballet.”

The Elections Commission has also been asking the legislature to fill three vacant positions for months.

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