State Board of Elections Says Russian Hack of June, 2016 Was of Voter Registration Data

Springfield, June 13, 2017 — A Spokesman for the State Board of Elections, said the recent Bloomberg report that noted Russian hackers had hit 39 states, including the Illinois Board of Elections, was a hack that happened in late June of 2016, and was discovered in early July of that year.

Following the hacking being discovered, the voter data base was shutdown for nearly two weeks, to determine what they had been looking at, and to ensure no hacking software was left behind.  During that review, it was determined that approximately 90,000 voter information records were downloaded by the hackers.

The greatest threat as a result of the hacking, would seem to be that some voters could become the victims of Identity Theft — but that there was no opportunity to have done anything to alter voting results.  In part, because this was six months before the November election.  And — the database on voters is entirely separate from the system that tabulates votes.

As a precaution against voting fraud, or technical problems, the Board of Elections also does a random recount of 5% of precincts from across the state, the day after an election is held. This is to verify the numbers originally reported can be re-verified.

The State Board said sometimes we hear where touchscreen voting machines will report a vote incorrectly.  The spokesperson said that is NOT due to a hacking or software error, but an error of calibration of the machine.  The older the machines, the more frequently they may need to be re-calibrated.

If a voter uses a touchscreen machine, and notes that their votes are being counted incorrectly — they should immediately tell the local election judges, so that the machine can be taken out of use, or re-calibrated before further use.