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 its election cybersecurity efforts. But the secretary of state’s office can’t spend that money until the Legislature passes an authorizing bill. Time is short, with the session heading toward a finish this weekend.

Simon called a news conference for Wednesday to call on lawmakers to release the first $1.5 million share of Minnesota’s federal election security funding.

Scott County Auditor Cindy Geis and Dakota County Elections Director Andy Lokken back Simon’s call.

Simon has said Minnesota was one of 21 states targeted by hackers “acting at the behest of the Russian government” during the 2016 election.

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