Wisconsin Elections Commission approves spending on security

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Elections Commission has approved moving ahead with spending some of a $7 million federal grant to hire additional staff and enhance security protections ahead of the fall elections.

The nearly $7 million grant under the Help American Vote Act comes after Wisconsin was identified as a state that was targeted by Russian hackers during the 2016 election.

Immediate needs to be addressed with some of the money include hiring up to six new staff, including a security trainer and voter registration data specialist, and purchasing multi-factor authentication software to improve security in Wisconsin's voter registration database.

Commission Chairman Mark Thomsen says additional spending may be directed toward needs of local election clerks. He says the commission needs to "think big" about how to spend the money.

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