Executive director of state election board put on administrative leave following online extortion attempt

There is no reason to believe that any election data or information has been compromised, election officials said of the extortion attempt, which is characterized as a typical online scam.

SHARE Executive director of state election board put on administrative leave following online extortion attempt
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The Illinois State Board of Elections executive director was the target of an online scam. He’s been placed on leave “out of an abundance of caution.”

AP file

The Illinois State Board of Elections on Monday placed its executive director on administrative leave after he reported being the victim of an online extortion attempt last week.

The board voted unanimously to place Steve Sandvoss on leave.

“Based on Director Sandvoss’ description, the attempted extortion scheme appeared typical of many such online scams,” according to a statement from the ISBE.

“At this time, there is no reason to believe that any election data or information has been compromised.”

“However, because this attempt targeted a top official at the Illinois State Board of Elections, and out of an abundance of caution, the board has taken the cautionary step of placing Director Sandvoss on administrative leave,” according to the statement.

The extortion attempt was reported to the Illinois State Police, which has begun an investigation.

The board authorized the agency’s chief information security officer, Jeremy Owens, to conduct an internal assessment of all devices to which Sandvoss had access.

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