With the midterm elections just over a month away, there is heightened concern about the security of America’s voting process, following recent revelations by the FBI that a software company — which runs part of Maryland’s voter registration system — was purchased by Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin, believed to have close ties to President Vladimir Putin. “So, the fact that one of his friends, one of his business, wealthy friends, is buying up (a) company that does business with our Board of Election(s) is a matter of major security interest here,” said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md. The company, Bytegrid, is responsible for voter registration, online ballot delivery and unofficial election night results, and while there’s been no evidence of wrongdoing, Cardin says change is needed now.
State officials in Maryland are now investigating, with local lawmakers pushing for change in the law. But so far, the partnership with Bytegrid remains in place — all while with federal authorities continue to warn of Russia’s desires.
“Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and that it continues to engage in, malign, influence operations to this day,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray during an interview at The Aspen Institute in July.