Minnesotans shouldn’t be uneasy about the security of their votes in Tuesday’s primary election, Secretary of State Steve Simon says.
“We have a high level of confidence that we’ve minimized the risks,” he said. Minnesota was among 21 states where voter databases were targeted before the 2016 election by entities linked to Russia’s government.
Since then, his office has worked with federal officials on “patching up any security holes that we might have” and instituted new measures such as multifactor authentication, said Simon, a DFLer.
When the U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducted vulnerability assessments earlier this year, Minnesota’s systems repelled the attempted test breaches.
The state was awarded more than $6 million in May to upgrade its system, which has been in use since 2004 and contains driver’s license and Social Security data.
The funding was part of a $380 million proposal by Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. It was incorporated in a federal spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in March.
But DFL Gov. Mark Dayton in May vetoed a spending bill that included authorization to spend the federal funds.
On Aug. 1, U.S. Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic plan co-sponsored by Klobuchar that would have provided $250 million more in election security grants.