The FBI is investigating an attempted violation of a local electoral network in the state of Ohio that occurred last spring.
A private laptop was plugged into the electoral network in the office of John Hamercheck, chairman of the Lake County Commissioners Council, on May 4 – the day of the Ohio spring primary – according to the Washington post.
State and county officials say no private information or sensitive data was collected during the breach.
The news comes at a time when Republicans across the country are claiming – almost always without evidence – that America’s electoral system is fraudulent. Many of these personalities are also seeking election to positions in positions that oversee the vote.
Routine network traffic captured during the Ohio breach was broadcast at an event hosted by Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow. Over the past year, Lindell has actively promoted the baseless conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was rigged against Donald Trump.
Lindell is a close ally and friend of Trump, even interviewing him recently in a video where the pair promoted the misconception that Biden’s election victory was somehow part of a fraud.
At the Ohio event in August, copies of the software from voting equipment in Colorado and Michigan were distributed to attendees, alerting those responsible to the violations.
The Ohio breach is part of a series of attacks on voting systems that have taken place across the country as hackers embrace conspiracy theory although there is no evidence of fraud election in the 2020 elections.
A similar infringe took place in Mesa County, Colorado, in late May. Local election officials have since been accused of allowing outsiders to enter county election offices to copy hard drives of election material. Earlier this week, the FBI raided the home of Tina Peters, the county clerk, after being accused of facilitating the breach
Officials in the Ohio Secretary of State’s office say they believe a government employee likely aided in the breach.
“It’s worrying that someone – especially someone in a government office, someone who is an elected official or someone who is part of the county government – is trying to engage in some kind of self-defense investigation, âFrank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State, told the Washington Post.
According to the Post, Ohio and Colorado county officials discussed the election fraud allegations with Douglass Frank, a close associate of Lindell who spread allegations of voter fraud, before the violations occurred.
Frank told the Post he had traveled across the country and met with around 100 election administrators to try to convince them that election fraud had taken place.
Hamercheck, whose office was the site of the Ohio breach, said in the post that he is “not aware of any criminal activity”.
âI have absolute confidence in our electoral council and our IT staff,â he said.
Public documents obtained by mail show that Hamercheck used his security badge to gain access to the fifth-floor offices, where the violations occurred, on several occasions during the six-hour period that the private laptop was connecting to the electoral network.