Advertisement

Minnesota lawmakers to discuss election security

April 23, 2019 06:19 AM

Tuesday at the state capitol, lawmakers will discuss election security and why millions of dollars set aside for improvements aren't being used.

Secretary of State Steve Simon says the holdup is leaving Minnesotans exposed to possible cyber-attacks.

Advertisement

Minnesota was one of the states targeted by Russian hackers in the 2016 election. Following the election, the federal government set aside money to boost election security.

However, the state legislature must still approve the use of that money.

"Minnesota is now the only state in America not to get authorization to use these funds," Simon said. "That's because the legislature is unable to come to an agreement."


More from KSTP.com:

Review of Wisconsin voting machines could be made public

State House members get update on election security

Cybersecurity officials start focusing on the 2020 elections

Voters raise concerns about voting machines, poll access


A bill that would allow Simon in his role as secretary of state to spend the money was vetoed last session.

The $6.6 million federal grant would boost cyber security, such as updating the state's voter registration system.

Simon said the fact that Minnesota has yet to take action on approving the money is a "very big deal" and that it's going to be harder for the state to safeguard its election system.

Simon told KSTP the intelligence community in Washington, D.C., knows that upcoming elections could be at risk.

"We've been told that we are likely to be targeted as a country again not only by the one foreign government but by others, so we know we have to be prepared for this and we need that money to be prepared."

There is a deadline on the money: Minnesota only has five years to use it and the state is already a year in.

A House committee is expected to take up the issue Tuesday.

Connect with KSTP


Join the conversation on our social media platforms. Share your comments on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

Credits

Alex Jokich & Rebecca Omastiak

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Advertisement

Klobuchar, Smith pressure TSA for additional screeners at MSP

Park board votes to change name of Calhoun Parkway to Bde Maka Ska Parkway

Reported illness among vapers reaches 150 possible cases

Sunny sky, comfortable weather ahead for Thursday

Children's Minnesota helps patients get back to school

Tubing companies concerned after new ordinance on Apple River

Advertisement