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How is Wisconsin Government making elections secure?

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- As people begin to vote for the August primary, many are keeping a close eye on the ballot box.

The organization Wisconsin Election Integrity says the concern is warranted after the 2016 election.

"We hand-counted six wards in Racine, and proved that two and a half percent of those votes in those six wards had never been counted," said WEI member Liz Whitlock.

The Department of Homeland Security said Russian government operatives probed the state's firewalls in 2016,

The state has since upgraded its machines and received $7 million from Washington to improve security..

Part of that will add additional steps to access the voter registration system.

"Somebody who has stolen a username and a password still won't get in because they won't have that third factor," said Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesperson Reid Magney.

They're also mandating local cybersecurity training.

"Making sure that that person, having logged onto the system, isn't doing anything that could compromise the security or the integrity of that database," Milwaukee Elections Commissioner Neil Albrecht said.

The WEC says voters should be reassured that the actual ballot counting is not connected to the internet, and it's decentralized.

"If somebody were somehow able to get a virus or a Trojan horse into the system, it would only affect a small number, not the entire state," Magney said.

But Wisconsin Election Integrity says the best solution would be a hand-counted audit in every county.

"At least 25 other states do this already," Whitlock said. "Wisconsin does not."

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