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Emailed threats in Florida dry up as congressional delegation asks for FBI briefing

By Ana Ceballos and Samantha J. Gross, Miami Herald on

Published in News & Features

The offices of seven supervisors of elections contacted by the Herald on Thursday, including Citrus, Alachua, Collier, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Broward and Okaloosa, said they were unaware of any briefing from the FBI about the efforts by Iran to interfere in the elections or to send voters emails. When two Florida counties' election systems were hacked by Russian intelligence agents in 2016, supervisors received briefings.

The Florida Department of State did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether it was made aware of any videos described by Ratcliffe. Department spokesman Mark Ard said on Wednesday night that state officials were aware of the emails.

Okaloosa Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux said voters in his county did not report emails or videos, but said the voter data is public information.

"They don't have to hack anything. All they have to do is ask the state for it," Lux said.

Lux, the former head of the Florida Association of Supervisors of Elections, said supervisors have long pushed the Florida Legislature to dial back the amount of voter data that is publicly available.

Robertson, the Collier County elections department spokeswoman, said most voters who received the mail were scared and concerned that someone had obtained their information.

However, the registration email is a public record and could be obtained without a breach.

 

Christian Ziegler, vice chair of the Republican Party of Florida, said he was positive the party's internal voter data was not accessed, and reiterated that the data accessed is public.

"Our internal data is very secure," he wrote in a text message.

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(Miami Herald staff writer David Smiley contributed to this report.)

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