WisconsinWeekly: Vulnerable voting machines, water pollution, school funding claims

Experts warn WI voting machines can be hacked; long-term water woes continue

Of note: This week we highlight (of course!) one of our own stories. Russia native and Fulbright fellow Grigor Atanesian reports for the Center on the security of Wisconsin’s voting machines, which experts say are vulnerable to hacking. Grigor’s story was picked up by more than 55 news organizations and reached an estimated audience of 1.3 million people coast to coast, including the Washington Times, U.S. News & World Report, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Fresno Bee. The story also was our first to be distributed by the Associated Press in a trial program with AP and selected independent newsrooms. Watch for more news about Wisconsin election security in a few weeks.

WisconsinWeekly is produced by Dee and Andy Hall, a couple who founded the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Dee is the managing editor and Andy is the executive director.

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Voting systems in Wisconsin, a key swing state, can be hacked, security experts warn

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism — July 29, 2018

Five top elections experts told the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism that Wisconsin’s voting systems are vulnerable. However, municipal and county clerks say they are not worried about a cyberattack, citing the fact that voting in Wisconsin is not centrally coordinated but conducted on a local level and the voting machines are not connected to the internet. As a result, many clerks resist proposals to conduct post-election audits.

Contamination level spikes at former Badger plant prompt concern

Baraboo News Republic — July 27, 2018

Recent groundwater samples from several wells in and around the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant have shown spikes in contamination levels. The U.S. Army, charged with ensuring safe drinking water, plans to increase monitoring and has also contracted with a federal agency to analyze four groundwater contaminant plumes that are slowly moving from inside the plant’s boundaries toward the Wisconsin River. Previously from WCIJ: Costs, water pollution remain at closed Badger Army Ammunition Plant

Dead zones in Green Bay show signs on lasting longer, raising long-term questions

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — July 30, 2018

Green Bay’s dead zones — areas with virtually no oxygen or aquatic life — are in a constant state of flux, and probably not improving. But despite their ever-changing nature, there are signs these dead zones in Lake Michigan are sometimes larger and lasting longer, according to a new study led by a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researcher. The findings have implications for the entire health of the bay, but especially for areas near the bottom.

Mahlon Mitchell has a point, but mostly misses in his attack on Scott Walker over school funding

PolitiFact Wisconsin — August 1, 2018

State firefighters union president Mahlon Mitchell, one of the eight Democrats hoping to win the August primary to run against Gov. Scott Walker, claimed on the Milwaukee-based liberal radio talk show “Devil’s Advocates” that Walker cut $1.6 billion from schools but restored only $630 million. PolitiFact Wisconsin rates that claims as mostly false. Mitchell’s statement contains an element of truth but is misleading and ignores facts that would give a different impression, the fact-check concluded.

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