Illinois Election Board chief on leave after extortion bid

Local News

FILE – In this Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, a poll worker talks to a voter before they vote on a paper ballot on Election Day in Atlanta. The sweeping rewrite of Georgia’s election rules that was signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp Thursday, March 25, 2021, represents the first big set of changes since former President Donald Trump’s repeated, baseless claims of fraud following his presidential loss to Joe Biden. Georgia’s new, 98-page law makes numerous changes to how elections will be administered, including a new photo ID requirement for voting absentee by mail. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Board of Elections has voted unanimously to place its executive director on paid administrative leave after he reported being the target of an online extortion attempt.

The eight members of the board took the action involving Steve Sandvoss “out of an abundance of caution,” the panel said in a news release Monday.

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

Sandvoss, a Rochester lawyer who has led the state agency since 2015, reported the extortion attempt occurred last week, it said.

He informed the Illinois State Police, which has begun an investigation, it said.

The board named Assistant Executive Director Bernadette Matthews to be acting director.

The election board is an independent state agency consisting of four Democrats and four Republicans.

State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich would not elaborate beyond the news release and directed questions to the Illinois State Police.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local News

More Local News