Latest Russia indictment impact in Olmsted County - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Latest Russia indictment impact in Olmsted County


The Justice Department has announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election.

The indictments were announced Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as part of the ongoing special counsel probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The Russians are accused of hacking into the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Before Friday, 20 people and three companies had been charged in the Mueller investigation. That includes four former Trump campaign and White House aides and 13 Russians accused of participating in a hidden but powerful social media campaign to sway American public opinion in the 2016 election.

Some fear the Russia operation targeted their local and state election boards, but according to Olmsted County neither this county nor state were impacted.

"As far as the actual structure and set up of elections, no," said Mark Krupski, Olmsted County's Property Records and Licensing Director, which includes elections. 

He said there was no foul play in the county's voting system during the 2016 election.

"As far as any kind of infiltration or corruption of that process, that's really non-existent because it's so decentralized. Not really a big risk there."

Krupski said Minnesota is decentralized, meaning each precinct has its own tabulator and set of election judges. Once voting is complete, the results are brought to the county, which will accumulate all the precinct's ballots and send them to the secretary of state's office for results.

"So it's not like you could get into any one location to manipulate specific results. Unless, of course, someone got into the secretary of state's system." But Secretary of State Steve Simon's office has told them on multiple occasions that never happened. 

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