Maryland officials investigate Russian investor's link to state elections software

Officials in Maryland are investigating a Russian investor's involvement with a local software vendor that maintains part of the State Board of Elections' voter registration system, The Sun of Baltimore reported Friday.

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The registration system, ByteGrid LLC, is financed by AltPoint Capital Partners, whose largest investor is Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin, CBS News reported. ByteGrid LLC owns the servers that contain the data for voter registration, election management, election night results and candidacy information, the Sun reported.

At a news conference, state Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch said the FBI told them and Gov. Larry Hogan that "a Russian investor" bought the software vendor in 2015, the Sun reported.

Miller said the news was “shocking,” but added that the FBI did not say that any elections in Maryland had been compromised.

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“We felt it imperative that our constituents know that a Russian oligarch has purchased our election machinery,” Miller said at the news conference.

The news come on the same day that Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced new federal indictments against 12 Russian military officials accused of meddling and hacking during the 2016 federal elections.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh was asked to investigate the contract, the Sun reported. There is no evidence of a breach or fraud in voter registration or in voting in Maryland, WBAL reported.

Miller said the Russians’ ties to ByteGrid “goes to the heart of democracy.”

“There’s still a Cold War going on,” Miller said at the news conference. “This is the evil empire, and they are at our door when they invest in our election process.”

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