Outdated Voting Machines

Maryland Officials Investigating Russian Company’s Link To State Election Software

Diane Brounstein - Author
By

Jul. 14 2018, Updated 11:07 a.m. ET

Maryland officials are now working fast to investigate election software that might have a possible tie to a Russian investor since it maintains part of the state’s voter registration system and the general election is only four months away, reports WJZ. The FBI informed state officials and the governor, Republican Larry Hogan, about the Russian investor having bought, back in 2015, the software company the state contracts without their knowledge.

“We’re going to make certain, the governor, and I speak for myself and everybody involved in government that nothing untoward happens as a result of this action,” Senate President Thomas Mike Miller said.

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Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch released a joint statement Friday about how Maryland is “investigating a Russian oligarch’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s investment in ByteGrid LLC, a software company that holds some of Maryland’s voter data — specifically, voter registration, candidacy, election management and election night results.”

This happened just hours after it was announced Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that 12 Russians have been charged with hacking the emails of the Democratic National Committee, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. That brings the total number of Russians indicted to 26 so far, according to VOX, in the investigation that’s being led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The indictment also alleged that they had hacked into a state board of elections website, but it wasn’t Maryland. The state whose system was compromised ended up having personal information of about 500,000 voters stolen.

While the FBI didn’t reveal whether any information had been compromised, Miller and Busch have asked for an investigation, which Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh will lead. In the meantime, Governor Hogan reiterated in a statement why they are taking the possibility of election fraud very seriously and hope to get answers as quickly as possible.

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“While the information relayed to us did not indicate that any wrongdoing or criminal acts have been discovered, we are fast approaching an election in November, and even the appearance of the potential for bad actors to have any influence on our election infrastructure could undermine public trust in the integrity of our election system.”

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Even though there isn’t any evidence so far that their system has been breached, the lawmakers have also asked the Department of Homeland Security Election Task Force to assist the State Board of Elections in its review. They want to make sure if any vulnerabilities are found, that they are addressed as soon as possible.

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