Politics

Secretary of State denies again that California had elections breach

FILE PHOTO: People vote at the Kenter Canyon Elementary School in Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 8, 2016.
FILE PHOTO: People vote at the Kenter Canyon Elementary School in Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 8, 2016.
Nick Ut/AP

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Secretary of State Alex Padilla shot back at a report from Bloomberg News on Tuesday that listed California among 39 states that suffered a security breach by Russian cyber hackers meddling with the U.S. presidential election. 

The story, released early Tuesday, said the cyber attack was more widespread than previously reported. It said there was evidence that in Florida and California hackers intruded into systems run by "a private contractor managing critical election systems."

But Padilla, who oversees elections in California, and county election officials in California are disputing that claim. 

“There is no evidence of any breach of elections systems in California. VR Systems, which is headquartered in Florida, does not provide services to the Secretary of State," Padilla said, in a written statement. 

VR Systems previously provided e-pollbook services to Humboldt County in Northern California, Padilla said, but that "VR Systems does not provide any vote tabulation services in California.”

The state uses a paper-based voting system that can't be easily hacked, but Padilla has repeatedly called for updates to California’s aging voting system. 

Officials from registrar offices in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Diego counties that run local elections all confirmed to KPCC that their data had not been breached. 

President Trump alleged in January without providing evidence that widespread voter fraud occurred across the country, including in California, which had voted overwhelmingly for his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Padilla called the charges a "flat-out lie" at the time and said the president's claims undercut people's faith in the democratic system.

This story has been updated.