For Immediate Release:
Contact For More Information:
Andrea M. Gaines
STATEMENT FROM THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS
RICHMOND, VA - On March 6, 2023, an employee of the Department of Elections (ELECT) inadvertently shared a file different than the one purchased by an eligible requestor.
The individual requested a vote history for a specific district and was unintentionally sent the state registered voter list which included personally identifiable information. The recipient immediately contacted ELECT, and the data was destroyed in accordance with state policy. ELECT followed proper procedures for evaluation and disclosure of the incident to law enforcement.
The incident was caused by human error and there is no reason to believe that the disclosed data will be used for fraudulent purposes. The department has determined that the incident is not the work of a malicious actor or a system failure. There is no indication that the data was further shared or downloaded.
An investigation by the Office of the State Inspector General has been conducted, and the department has taken immediate steps to strengthen its security processes for fulfilling data requests of this type. Access has been moved from the department that made the error and data sharing related tasks have been reassigned. The department has re-trained employees and has increased restrictions on its data sharing protocols.
ELECT is grateful to the eligible requestor who had the awareness and diligence to notify the department upon receipt and cooperated to address the error.