Illinois primary puts focus on security of state voter rolls

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — With the Illinois primary just days away, state election officials are beefing up cyber defenses and scanning for possible intrusions into voting systems and voter registration rolls.

They have good reason to be on guard: Two years ago, Illinois was the lone state known to have its state election system breached in a hacking effort that ultimately targeted 21 states.

Federal intelligence agencies determined that the attempted hacking of state elections systems in 2016 primarily targeted voter registration systems, not actual voting machines or vote tallying.

Cybersecurity experts say it’s crucial for states to shore up vulnerabilities in those systems now, with this year’s midterm elections already underway.