FBI agents raid Arizona home in voter-data theft probe

Federal law-enforcement officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, seized computers, hard drives and other storage devices as part of an investigation of voter-data theft.

The Arizona Republic reported Saturday the raid took place Nov. 5, two days after the election. ​The Phoenix paper cited an FBI spokesman saying the bureau will not confirm or deny the investigation.

However, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County IT security staff, Megan Gilbertson, said in a statement that the FBI is investigating and the county is cooperating.

The voter data allegedly was stolen from the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office website.

Gilbertson said that an 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,” she said.

The warrant, according to the paper, showed investigators were searching for records, information and communications related to the office’s:

  • 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.
  • Attempts or threats to damage computer systems.

The Arizona Republic reported the property was seized from the Fountain Hills, Arizona, residence of Elliot Kerwin, 56, who identifies himself on LinkedIn as an information technology professional.

Forbes cybersecurity reporter Thomas Brewster reported the agents departed Kerwin’s home with eight hard drives, three computers and a bag of USB sticks.

Brewster noted the data trove could be significant, because there were more than 2.5 million registered voters in the county for the 2020 election.

Arizona and Maricopa County are among five key swing states where the Trump campaign and its allies are challenging the results of the 2020 election. Joe Biden won the official count by 10,457.

Republican state lawmakers in Arizona have charged that Gov. Doug Ducey “knowingly” certified a fraudulent election and are urging him to rescind the certification.

State Rep. Mark Finchem is calling for the withholding of the state’s Electoral College votes for Biden, contending there is enough evidence of fraud to invalidate the state’s popular vote.

He said county clerks are coming forward and witnesses are “coming out of the woodwork” with evidence.

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