As early as Oct. 27, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer was aware that Alaska was the victim of data exposure by outside actors targeting the Division of Elections Online Voter Registration System, which was built and maintained by an outside vendor and operated by the Division.

Kevin Meyer mug
Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer

According to a statement issued by the Division of Elections on Dec. 3, voter personal information was exposed, but the state claims “no other elections systems or data were affected. The Division’s ballot tabulation systems, 2020 general election results, and voter database remain secure.”

A week before the Nov. 3 election, Meyer “became aware of this incident” a press release on the issue notes. At that point the Division began working “with our outside vendor to stop further exposure,” it states.

Meyer has repeatedly said – even after knowing of the breach – there has been “no evidence of widespread voter fraud” in Alaska.

“Since the discovery, Division staff, working with the State Security Office, our vendors, and law enforcement, and a computer forensics firm have worked to determine the scope of the problem, secure databases and web applications, comply with state law regarding exposure of personal information records, and assist law enforcement with any investigation as needed,” the Division statement reads. “Working with the vendor, the division has determined that 113,000 potential voters’ personal information — such as birth dates and license numbers — was exposed.”

Meyer has repeatedly said – even after knowing of the breach – that there has been “no evidence of widespread voter fraud” in Alaska. He called the incident “a very unfortunate discovery” but did not say why he kept this information from the public for more than five weeks.

…outside actors accessed voter registration information, the purpose of the unlawful access was to spread propaganda and shake voter confidence.

“We have been working diligently to understand the situation and identify the extent of the exposure so that we can accurately inform the public and the affected individuals about what occurred,” he said. “I have full confidence in the voting process and in the final 2020 election results. Our voting procedures, ballot tabulation systems and election review processes are not linked to the voter registration system that was compromised, and we have other safeguards that ensure every voter’s registration can be verified.”

According to the Division of Elections, “outside actors accessed voter registration information” in order to “spread propaganda and shake voter confidence — not to impact the election results.”

It goes on to praise Alaska’s voting process, claiming that it has “received high ratings from a security perspective over the last decade because of the various safeguards…”

The Division claims that “Alaska’s vote-counting equipment is not linked in any way to the Online Voter Registration System ensuring the ballot tabulation process remains completely secure. The Division of Elections firmly believes the integrity of the 2020 voting process was not compromised.”

That said, the Division notes that many of the details about the exposure remain unclear, such as the exact identity of the nefarious actors or the “the precise information that was copied.” The State is still investigating.

Voters who had their information exposed have been notified by the state and the Division of Elections has established a toll-free number that voters can call to check their status or ask questions (833-269-0003).

“We have no evidence that the data has been used for anything other than propaganda. We are notifying voters to help them verify that their personal information is secure,” said Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai. “I remain confident in our voting procedures and the election workers and staff that make it all happen. Be assured that your vote was counted, despite this unfortunate event.”

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Alaska’s voter registration system hacked – data exposed

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.