Read on to learn more about election security in Wisconsin - what security measures already exist, new measures being undertaken, and what you can to to help keep our elections secure.
(Updated: October 2018)
Election Security in Wisconsin
Are Wisconsin’s elections secure? In a nutshell - yes - and the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), our state election agency, their partners in other federal and state agencies, and good government groups like the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin are working to ensure they stay secure.
Existing Security Measures:
Wisconsin has a number of good things already in place to keep our elections secure:
- Custom Voter Registration System that has security measures in place to prevent hacking and limit damage within the system.
- Election Day Registration that acts as a failsafe for voters in case the voter registration system is hacked.
- Paper Record - Every ballot in Wisconsin has a paper record, so election officials can go to the paper record to verify the results.
- Voting Equipment Audits - State law requires election officials to conduct audits of the voting equipment used in November elections to ensure ballots are counted accurately.
- Voting Rights Groups - Wisconsin has groups, like the League of Women Voters, monitoring elections, informing voters, and tracking the latest election security developments.
New Security Measures:
The Wisconsin Elections Commission has been working to address immediate election security concerns including the application of $7 million of federal grant funding to secure Wisconsin’s elections. These improvements involve:
- Upgraded Security Software - upgrades for security software and a multi-factor verification system for the state's voter registration system.
- Security Training - The Wisconsin Elections Commission is rolling out improved and updated security training for clerks.
- Communications Plan - Improved and detailed communications plan for clerks, election workers, and the public.
- Systems Testing - The Wisconsin Elections Commission is working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Wisconsin Division of Enterprise Technology to test Wisconsin’s election systems, identify vulnerabilities and offer suggestions of how those vulnerabilities can be improved.
What You Can Do:
You can help ensure Wisconsin's elections remain secure:
- Vote! And encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to vote. The best way to protect your right to vote, is by voting.
- Attend Public Tests - Attend public tests of voting equipment before each election.
- Support Election Funding - Ask your representatives to ensure election officials have the funding they need to securely administer our elections.
- Encourage Audits - Encourage your county clerks to perform post-election audits.
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin believes that voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be guaranteed. We value fairness, transparency, accountability and accessibility in every election to ensure that citizens in our state can participate effectively in their government. The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is continuing to investigate what more could and should be done to secure Wisconsin’s election, and will continue to monitor the issue of election security as it evolves.
Read more about election security in Wisconsin.