Wisconsin election officials insist the state’s voting systems are safe from hackers as ballots are cast in Tuesday’s primary.
Intelligence gathered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security indicates Russia targeted Wisconsin’s elections system in 2016. Nothing showed the system was compromised, however.
Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney says that since 2016 the system has been encrypted, or converted to code.
He says the commission also has trained local clerks on cybersecurity measures. He adds that each clerk has a limited reach in the state system. If they inadvertently give a hacker access, perhaps by clicking on a strange email, the hacker couldn’t get very far.
Magney notes that vote-counting computers aren’t linked to the internet and the official vote counts are recorded on paper tape print-outs.
Polls are open for Wisconsin’s primary election. The Wisconsin Elections Commission is reminding voters that they may only vote for candidates in one party in the primary.
Voters will also need an acceptable photo ID in order to cast their ballots. Eligible voters can register at the polls Tuesday if they have a document that proves their residency or address.
Polls will be open until 8 p.m.
Wisconsin’s primary election will decide which Democrat challenges Republican Gov. Scott Walker this fall and whom Republicans back in a big-money race for U.S. Senate.
Tuesday’s primaries will also set the fall ballot for many other races, including the fight to replace Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Eight Democrats are vying to challenge Walker. Polls showed state schools chief Tony Evers with a double-digit lead over the field.
State Sen. Leah Vukmir and management consultant Kevin Nicholson were vying for the GOP Senate nod. Vukmir has the Wisconsin Republican Party endorsement, but Nicholson has benefited from millions spent by outside groups. The winner will face Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.