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Milwaukee election officials’ Zoom meeting briefly hacked

Associated Press

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FILE - Voters masked against coronavirus line up at Riverside High School for Wisconsin's primary election Tuesday April 7, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — An unidentified user briefly hacked into the Milwaukee Election Commission’s Zoom meeting on Sunday and took over the screen to share graphic images, including vulgar words and pornography.

The meeting, to discuss missing postmarks on returned absentee ballots, was hacked about 20 minutes after it started. WTMJ reported the meeting was eventually suspended as Commissioner Neil Albrecht fought to control the situation.

WISN reported that so far, no one has claimed responsibility for the hack.

The FBI has issued warnings about so-called “Zoom-bombing,” where individuals hack into teleconferences and other online classrooms.

Wisconsin was the only state that didn’t postpone its spring election to protect voters and poll workers from the coronavirus. A record number of voters requested absentee ballots for Tuesday’s election, overwhelming clerks and apparently the U.S. Postal Service.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that absentee ballots had to be hand-delivered to clerks on Tuesday or postmarked no later than Tuesday to count. Clerks have until Monday to receive ballots and counting will begin at 4 p.m.

So far, returns have been a mess, with clerks receiving hundreds of ballots with no postmarks or ballots with undated markings and smudges, raising questions about whether they qualify as postmarks.