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Simon asks lawmakers to free up election security funds

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon and other elections officials are calling on the Legislature to free up federal funds for election security.

The federal government has given Minnesota $6.6 million to bolster election cybersecurity. But the secretary of state can't spend that money until the Legislature passes an authorizing bill.

Simon said Wednesday that he's sounding the alarm because time is short, with the session heading toward a finish this weekend. A provision allocating the money is embedded in a broader bill that Gov. Mark Dayton has threatened to veto for unrelated reasons.

Simon called for lawmakers to send the governor a separate "clean" bill to free up the first $1.5 million installment.

Simon says Russians tried to hack the 2016 elections and he expects them to try again.

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