Alaska was one of seven states that had websites or voter registration systems compromised by Russian-backed hackers before the 2016 election, according to a report by NBC News.
Alaska Division of Elections Director Josie Bahnke said the state today asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for any information related to the news report.
The state’s election division had announced in September that federal officials informed the state that operatives accessed a publicly available website, but did not compromise the election system.
“It was a public information website,” Bahnke said Tuesday. “It was not our voter registration database, or ballot-tabulation system, or anything that would have an effect on the election, so those efforts were unsuccessful, to tap into the website. And we’ll just continue working with DHS and provide information to Alaskan voters as that information becomes available.”
Anchorage Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski said voters have a right to know exactly what occurred.
“This is very alarming, obviously,” he said. “We want to make sure our elections have integrity. We want to make sure our elections process is secure. We want to make sure our websites can’t be hacked, that our databases with Alaskans’ private information is not being accessed by Russian covert operatives.”
The NBC report said some of the breaches were more serious than others, from entry into state websites to access of voter registration databases. The other states were Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin.
- At the end of February, 3,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Shuyak Strait about 50 miles north of the City of Kodiak. The oil was in a building that collapsed because of a severe windstorm. Since then, a response has been underway to contain the oil, clean it up, and prevent future spills.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska will no longer make new matches between youths and volunteers in four Alaska communities: Haines, Homer, Hoonah, and Sitka. The organization that matches volunteers and youth for one-on-one mentoring, says it’s a matter of reduced federal and state grant funding.
- The pilot won't serve jail time, but must pay the state $25,000 and the family $6,100 in restitution. The judge expressed doubt that it would send the aviation community much of a message.
- Superior Court Judge Dwayne McConnell sentenced a former Tuluksak teacher to 10 years in prison, with six of those years suspended. John Paul Donald Douglas, 37, had pleaded guilty to one consolidated count of possession of child pornography.