Annapolis, Maryland (7/13/18): In response to today’s indictment, we want to assure Maryland voters that Maryland’s State Board of Elections was not the State election office mentioned in the indictment. Additionally, no Maryland election official has used or is using services provided by the vendor referenced in the indictment.
This week, however, the FBI gave this office important information about a vendor the State Board of Election uses to host various election systems. This vendor – ByteGrid LLC – hosts the statewide voter registration, candidacy, and election management system, the online voter registration system, online ballot delivery system, and unofficial election night results website. According to the FBI, ByteGrid LLC is financed by AltPoint Capital Partners, whose fund manager is a Russian and its largest investor is a Russian oligarch named Vladimir Potanin.
In response to this information, we have been working with various federal and State officials to ensure that voter data and our election systems are secure. The FBI did not state that there was evidence of any breach or fraudulent transactions, but we must act immediately to confirm that this is the case. Over the next several days, we will continue to work with our federal and State partners to develop a plan of action to audit existing data, review existing defenses, and immediately implement any changes to secure the systems and data before the 2018 General Election.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Maryland was one of the states with suspicious online activities before the 2016 General Election. In August 2016, we saw some unusual activity on the State’s online voter registration and ballot request system and immediately responded. We provided log files to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), one of the State’s cybersecurity vendors, and another cybersecurity firm, and all three entities independently reviewed the transactions related to the suspicious activity. All three entities came to the same conclusion – there were “no suspicious artifacts.”
In other words, there was no evidence that the online registration and ballot request system was breached or fraudulent transactions were submitted.