House Republicans push D.C. Board of Elections over voter database breach

House Republicans push D.C. Board of Elections over voter database breach

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A pair of House Republicans sent a letter to the D.C. Board of Elections on Thursday demanding answers after the board revealed last week that a data breach resulted in the disclosure of voters’ private information.

The board informed the public last week that the information of about 400,000 voters was put at risk during a hack in October. 

Reps. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) and Laurel Lee (R-Fla.) shared “deep concern” over the incident in the letter.

“This breach is especially troubling because it appears that the Board did not realize its full extent until two weeks later,” the pair wrote. “For Americans to have confidence in our elections, they must have reason to believe that voter databases and voter information are safe, secure, and not susceptible to malicious access or manipulation.”

The board said the data breach was the responsibility of contractor DataNet Systems, which hosted the compromised server. DataNet investigated the incident for two months, resulting in the public release last week, the board said.

“DCBOE is aware that DataNet’s outreach may not appear to be timely. However, there were many layers of review and investigation that involved government and non-government entities,” the board wrote in its public release. “The communication was issued once DataNet completed its review. The timing was theirs alone.”

DataNet said that the information potentially released included names, addresses, dates of birth, partial social security numbers and driver’s license numbers of voters.

The lawmakers also warned that the hack could put election security at risk for the 2024 cycle, and could also foment distrust in voting systems among District voters.

The letter included questions for the board, including the status of investigations, steps for remediation and potential strategies to boost voter confidence in elections.

The Hill has reached out to the D.C. Board of Elections for comment.

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