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Press Releases

09/01/2020

Statement on Kommersant Article

The data of Connecticut voters alleged to be part of a "breach" is actually publicly available

HARTFORD - This morning there was an article on the Russian newspaper Kommersant's website (available in Russian here: https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4474867 and in English via Google Translate here: https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&nv=1&pto=aue&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ru&sp=nmt4&tl=en&u=https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4474867&usg=ALkJrhiohSU7y0umusc8BY5_-49VCrrb-Q) alleging that the name, date of birth, gender, registration date, address, postal code, e-mail, voter identification number, and polling place information of millions of voters, including voters in Connecticut.

In Connecticut, all of this information is publicly available in the voter file; anyone can purchase this file for $300 to access this information, or find it online for free at the website that has purchased this data and reposted it.

"All of the information reported by a Russian news outlet to be part of a "hack" or "data breach" is actually publicly available in Connecticut, and can be purchased from our office by anyone with $300," said Gabe Rosenberg, Communications Director for Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. "The danger of inflammatory stories like this one is the erosion of public trust in elections and election results. Our voter file was not breached, but Russia and other hostile foreign actors are trying to breach the confidence that American voters have in their civic institutions with misinformation."

Secretary Merrill has proposed protecting voters' personal information in the voter file in each of the last three legislative sessions. More information on her proposal can be found here: https://ctmirror.org/category/ct-viewpoints/merrill-the-privacy-of-connecticuts-voters-must-be-protected/.

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