State Board of Elections director reports he was victim to online extortion attempt


Springfield, Ill. (WCIA) —

“Last week our executive director reported that he was the victim of an online extortion attempt,” Matt Dietrich, Illinois State Board of Elections Public Information Officer, said.

That was reported to State Police and now head of the State Board of Elections is being put on administrative leave. WCIA asked for details about the scheme tried on Steve Sandvoss. Board officials say it was similar to typical online scams.

The State Board of Elections decided to have the director go on administrative leave out of an abundance of caution. Since Director Sandvoss is a top official at the Illinois State Board of Elections, the board is doing this as a cautionary step.

Director Sandvoss reported the attempt to Illinois State Police, who are investigating the situation. They are also conducting an internal assessment of devices and security of the board’s systems, but they say this will not impact tomorrow’s elections.

“There will be no effect on the elections on Tuesday, nor would there have been any effect even if this had happened before an even year election,” Dietrich said.

The board says there is currently no reason to believe any election data or information has been compromised. Assistant Executive Director Bernadette Matthews will be the interim director at this time.

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