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Illinois Officials Respond After Report Says Russia ‘Compromised' State Election Information

Illinois officials say they did immediately told the federal government in 2016 that unknown hackers got into the state’s voter registration system.

State election officials say they revealed what they could Wednesday about Russian meddling.

Just a day after NBC News reported Russian hackers "compromised" Illinois before the 2016 election:

The Illinois Board of Elections says it can’t reveal much about a warning from Homeland Security just last week.

“The contents of the briefing are classified,” said Steve Sandvoss, the board's executive director. “They (DHS) ended by saying the threat out there is still very real and all states should be on guard for the upcoming elections.”

This comes after intelligence sources tell NBC News "Russia compromised seven states prior to the 2016 election" including Illinois.

“We were never told by the FBI it was the Russians," Sandvoss said. "I didn’t find that out until June of last year.”

Illinois officials say they did immediately told the federal government in 2016 that unknown hackers got into the state’s voter registration system.

“The intruders were unable to add, change or delete any records or otherwise permanently entrench themselves in any of our systems,” said the board's information technology specialist Matt Emmons.

Election officials insist they accurately counted every vote -- because they cross-check the results with voters’ paper ballots.

“In order to change results they would have to have access to each individual machine or they’d have to be in the counting center at a local election jurisdictions,” Kyle Thomas, of the board's division of voting and registration systems, said.

Besides improving cyber security since the 2016 breach -- Illinois election officials also say the federal government promises to communicate more quickly with states on any future hacking.

NBC News

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