Skip to main content

Minnesota's elections chief gets 'secret' security clearance

Steve Simon will be able to access classified information.

As the investigation into hacking and foreign involvement in the 2016 elections rumbles on, attention is turning to protecting the upcoming mid-terms.

It was revealed earlier this month that Minnesota was one of 21 states targeted by election hackers in 2016, though fortunately they were unsuccessful.

Now efforts are being made to increase communications between national intelligence agencies and state-level election officials ahead of November's elections, to ensure states can react in a timely manner when a security threat presents itself.

The New York Times reported this week that this includes giving security clearances to state election officials so they can receive classified information – noting that so far 20 officials across the country have got that clearance.

And one of them is Minnesota's own secretary of state Steve Simon, who the Associated Press reports was given the clearance level of "secret" this month, which is one level below "top secret."

Related:

– Minnesota was targeted by election hackers in 2016.

Simons has been leading the calls for Minnesota to improve its security measures as the prospect of cyber attacks on election systems grows more real by the day.

Earlier this month he welcomed a report by state auditors that found Minnesota's election registration system is in urgent need of an upgrade, as well as changes at the county level to better identify ineligible voters.

When the federal budget bill was passed and signed this week, Simon praised the decision to include $380 million for election security.

"These funds, which will be distributed to the states by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, will enable Minnesota to continue our efforts to enhance the security of our elections systems, both at the state and local level," he said.

Next Up

police lights

Boys aged 15, 16 arrested after shooting of teen in Woodbury

The victim suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Police: Woman found dead with 'traumatic injuries' inside Moorhead home

Police are investigating the incident as a homicide.

Screen Shot 2022-12-02 at 7.59.36 AM

St. Paul's East Side Bar closes after two-and-a-half years in business

The bar opened just as the COVID-19 pandemic closed bars and restaurants.

Police tape

Police: Man and woman found dead inside Rochester home

An investigation is ongoing as of Friday morning.

image

Hospital chiefs say nursing strike will come at 'worst possible time'

A nurses union announced an almost three-week strike to take place in the Twin Cities.

snow

Sven Sundgaard: What's in store for MN's weather in December?

Sundgaard recaps Minnesota's fall and looks ahead to December.

work-g674ba1702_1280

Manure spill in Wisconsin leads to hours-long main street disruption

The spill was first reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

IceCube

Ice Cube to perform 2 nights at Mystic Lake Casino

The rapper hasn't performed in Minnesota since 2018.

Related

Here's why 3 of Minnesota's U.S. House races are so important this election

Democrats and Republicans see these races as important – here's an explanation.

5 Minnesota maps to help you make sense of things before Election Day

After taking a look at the national picture on Thursday, GoMN has scoured the internet to find maps of Minnesota that are relevant as we approach Nov. 8.

Why hasn't Minnesota approved election security funding yet?

Minnesota is the only state not to be making use of federal election security funding.

Live updates: Checking in on Election Day

Checking in on Minnesota – and the country – as Election Days rolls on.

FBI: Clinton shared 'top secret' information on private email; no charges recommended

FBI Director James Comey said the conduct of Clinton and her State Department staff was "careless."

Wisconsin is suddenly an election battleground state

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Tim Kaine will be paying a visit to Wisconsin on Tuesday, with the GOP suddenly believing it's in play.