Official: Russian hackers targeted ‘16 Montana election

Matt Volz
Associated Press

Helena, Mont. – Montana’s secretary of state said Friday that Russian hackers unsuccessfully probed the state’s election systems for weaknesses in 2016.

The acknowledgement by Secretary Corey Stapleton in his occasional newsletter appears to contradict a previous statement by state elections officials that Montana was not among states targeted.

Stapleton said Russian agents tried to interfere with the 2016 elections and that “almost half the states (including Montana) were scanned for weaknesses in our elections systems.”

He said no votes were changed, but it was a clear threat to fair elections.

Elections Director Dana Corson in March told The Associated Press that Montana was not among states targeted by hackers in 2016.

Stapleton said there was no contradiction between his assessment and Corson’s because “scanning is not hacking” and that his office has restrained from using language like “hacking” to prevent people from being alarmed.