Stapleton: Montana election systems targeted by Russia in 2016

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 19:43:44-04

HELENA-In a July newsletter sent from the Montana Secretary of State’s office, Corey Stapleton said Russians tried to influence Montana’s election in 2016.

Stapleton gave few details, but says Montana was among the states that “were scanned for weaknesses in our elections systems.”

He adds, “Though no votes were changed by the Russians in our 2016 election cycle, there was a "clear and significant threat” to fair U.S. elections.

In the newsletter, Stapleton said his office is working with state and federal agencies to improve the state’s election security.

Some of the security improvement mentioned include two-factor authentication for all Montana counties, new IT systems and improved signature verification for mail ballots.

Despite these improvements, Stapleton expressed concerns in the federal government’s growing involvement in local elections, continued security of mail ballots and digital election platforms as well as consistency in personnel and training at local county election offices around the state.