RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Department of Elections disclosed Friday afternoon that over a month ago it “inadvertently” shared the state’s registered voter list, which contains personal identifying information, with an unnamed individual.
The person with whom the file was shared March 6 contacted the department, and the “data was destroyed in accordance with state policy,” the department said in a statement. There is no indication it was further shared or downloaded, the statement said.
“The incident was caused by human error and there is no reason to believe that the disclosed data will be used for fraudulent purposes,” the statement said.
The file was shared with the unnamed person after the person initially requested vote history data for a specific district.
The department said it followed procedures for “evaluation and disclosure of the incident to law enforcement” and that the Office of the State Inspector General conducted an investigation.
Representatives of that office didn’t immediately respond to a request for the findings of its investigation.
The elections department said it had also taken steps to strengthen its security processes for fulfilling similar data requests, including re-training employees and increasing restrictions on its data-sharing protocols.
The department said it was “grateful” to the person who received the data and their apparent willingness to cooperate “to address the error.”