DETROIT – The Michigan Secretary of State is refuting a report that Russians have shared the personal data of nearly every Michigan voter.
A report published by a Russian newspaper claims internet users in Russia have stolen information on millions of voters in Michigan, Arkansas, Connecticut, North Carolina and Florida.
The data reportedly appeared in a “Darkweb” forum, and included the full name, date of birth, sex, date of registration, home address, zip code, email address, voter ID number, and polling station number of American voters.
The newspaper reports the users aimed to collect money from the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Rewards for Justice” program, which is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service.
The department announced on Aug. 5 that it is offering a reward of up to $10 million “for information leading to the identification or location of any person who works with or for a foreign government for the purpose of interfering with elections.”
The Michigan Secretary of State released a statement on Tuesday, saying that the public voter information allegedly obtained is accessible to anyone through a FOIA request.
“Our system has not been hacked. We encourage all Michigan voters to be wary of attempts to ‘hack’ their minds, however, by questioning the sources of information and advertisements they encounter and seeking out trusted sources, including their local election clerk and our office. If voters suspect misinformation they should report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.”