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Wisconsin Elections Commission won’t name vulnerable clerks

MADISON — Wisconsin election officials are refusing to name a handful of local clerks that testing showed may be vulnerable to cyberattacks.

The state Elections Commission asked all 2,700 local clerks to log into the state election system this summer. Commission staff in August said they detected five clerks using Windows XP. Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP in 2014.

The Associated Press filed a records request seeking the clerks’ names. The commission said in a letter Thursday that releasing the names would invite hackers to disrupt election administration and chill discussions about system vulnerabilities.

The letter added that only four clerks were using Windows XP, not five as staff originally thought. They’ve all since received upgrades. Three used money from a $7 million federal election security grant the state received in 2018.

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