JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Secretary of State says states have been working to secure elections.

Republican Jay Ashcroft testified recently before the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration on Capitol Hill.

“You can do that in a way that protects our elections from malfeasance, criminal activity, from fraud while you are still making sure that every registered voter can vote,” Ashcroft says.

He says officials must take a comprehensive approach to election security.

“We have evidence of elections being affected by vote fraud in Missouri that is astronomically greater than the evidence that we have of elections being changed by cyber intrusions,” says Ashcroft.

He says two St. Louis area elections in 2016 had to be “redone”, because of court orders over voting irregularities.

Ashcroft also says people have been prosecuted in Missouri in recent years for trying to vote more than once, and for trying to buy votes.

Missouri is the first state to receive federal grant money, after President Donald Trump signed legislation that provides $380 million in grants to states to improve their election infrastructure.

Secretary Ashcroft notes Missouri has requested $7.2 million under the bill, which is called the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.

The funding will be used, in part, for cybersecurity training for state and local election officials.

“We’re using those funds to make sure that the people of the state of Missouri can have confidence in their elections,” Ashcroft says. “And maybe the biggest thing we’re doing, in September we are having a nationwide cyber security conference for elections.”

Ashcroft tells Missourinet the National Election Security Summit will take place September 10-11 at World Wide Technology’s global headquarters in St. Louis.

He says 20 to 30 states will participate, sharing ideas and best practices. Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and security professionals are also expected to participate.

Ashcroft and Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller testified recently before the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, which is chaired by U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R).

(Brian Hauswirth, Missourinet)