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REPORT: Federal Agents Investigate Voter Data Theft, Seize Hard Drives in Maricopa County, AZ


Federal law enforcement agents raided a home in Fountain Hills located in Maricopa County, Arizona just east of Scottsdale last month, confiscating computers, hard drives, and other computer-related data storage devices in an investigation regarding the theft of voter data from the county recorder's office website.

In an exclusive story, Forbes.com reports the law enforcement officials seized eight hard drives, three computers, and a bag containing USB sticks when serving the warrant on Nov. 5. at the residence of Elliot Kerwin, who identifies himself as an IT (information technology) professional.  At present, Kerwin, 56, is not facing any charges and was unavailable for comment. 

The warrant which was discovered by Forbes explains agents were investigating a computer intrusion or conspiracy to commit computer intrusion from Oct. 21 through November 4. The media outlet later found that Maricopa County had confirmed voter data had been stolen and a federal investigation was continuing. 

All public voter information can be legally acquired in Arizona counties for just a few hundred dollars, Forbes noted in its story. 

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The warrant specified that federal agents were looking for information related to login credentials and accounts; voter registration records and information, including protected voters' information; the transfer, sharing or dissemination of voter registration records and information, including protected voters' information; unauthorized access to the office's website and computer systems, and attempts or threats to damage computer systems.

"Analysis by county IT security staff indicates an unauthorized individual gathered publicly accessible voter information from the Maricopa County Recorder's Office website. Additional security controls were put in place to mitigate against this activity occurring in the future," Megan Gilbertson, a spokesperson for the office said in a statement.  

"The Maricopa County Recorder's Office has reported this to proper authorities and law enforcement personnel, and there is an ongoing investigation by the FBI at this time. The county is cooperating with the investigation," Gilbertson said.

The US Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona said it couldn't comment on the case. The FBI said they could not confirm or deny the investigation. 

You can read the warrant below, courtesy of The Arizona Republic. 

Affidavit by Jim Hoft


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