Your voter information is for sale on the Dark Web along with millions of others in your state… at a shockingly low price tag. Didn’t vote? They know that, too.
Our research found that currently the records of more than 107 million Americans is sold on the dark web for as cheap as $10.
The hacked voter records include extremely sensitive information such as voter ID, full name, physical address, previous addresses, date of birth, gender and citizen status.
The leaked data also shows if you previously voted, and in which election.
We discovered the below voter databases on a popular dark web marketplace:
|Florida Voter Database||12,500,000||$10|
|Alabama Hacked Voter Database||132,000||$8|
|Pennsylvania Hacked Voter Database||620,201||$10|
|Maryland Hacked Voter Database||4,200,000||$10|
|Florida 2018 Voter Database||13,939,000||$15|
|North Carolina Hacked Voter Database||8,114,000||$15|
|Washington DC Hacked Voter Database||493,000||$10|
|Ohio 2017 Hacked Voter Database||7,900,000+||$10|
|New Jersey Hacked Voter Database||5,500,000+||$10|
|Michigan Leaked Voter Database||7,400,000+||$8|
|Delaware Hacked Voter Database||645,327||$10|
|Vermont Hacked Voter Database||476,000+||$10|
|Washington Hacked Voter Database||4,400,000+||$10|
|Alaska Hacked Voter Database||487,415+||$10|
|Georgia Hacked Voter Database||6,600,000+||$10|
|Kansas Hacked Voter Database||1,800,000+||$10|
|Missouri Hacked Voter Database||4,100,000+||$10|
|Kansas 2018 Hacked Voter Database||1,822,000+||$15|
|Colorado Voter Database||3,525,000+||$8|
|Arkansas Voter Database||1,746,000+||$12|
|New York Hacked Voter Database||15,000,000+||$10|
|Connecticut Hacked Voter Database||2,300,000+||$10|
|Nevada Hacked Voter Database||1,160,000+||$10|
|Rhode Island Hacked Voter Database||740,000+||$8|
|Utah Leaked Voter Database||731,000+||$8|
|Texas Leaked Voter Database||657,695+||$10|
Commonly known as “voter files”, these databases are created by government agencies and election officials.
These voter files illustrate voter registration and election turnout by state, and include who is registered to vote, who voted in past elections, as well as outside data sources from consumer data vendors, credit bureaus and political organizations, like the DNC and GOP.
This is how dark web listings of leaked US voter databases look like:
*Names of vendors has been removed to prevent the promotion of these services and vendors.
Since Obama’s 2008 presidential run, these voter databases have served as vital blueprints for targeting and canvassing (i.e., soliciting votes from) potential supporters. Voter databases help political candidates plan their door-to-door walking visits, email lists, social media campaigns, and practically every aspect of a modern-day campaign.
Due to the enormous value of this information in the right and wrong hands, election officials had spent millions of dollars to upgrade cyber defenses and thwart hackers ahead of the 2020 election. While the main fear has been manipulation of voter data by foreign actors, the sinister uses of just accessing voter databases still remain out of the public eye.
For this research, we’ve scoured the Dark Web voter data market to find in which state is the most dangerous to cast your vote. We’ll see what state is the most dangerous to be a voter, and which voter databases fetch the highest price tag. Finally, we’ll discuss how these illegal voter databases could be undermining the democratic system.
Full and partial voter databases on up to 27 of the 50 Unites States and millions upon millions of citizens’ private information are being sold by a handful of vendors. There are also voting records available for other democratic countries like the Philippines. On average, most databases sold for around $10 USD. By in large, the leaked databases for sale include the following personal information:
Let’s look at the most popular state, the most expensive, and other highlights.
When looking to purchase voter data, Florida is by far the most listed state. Voter Databases (like the one above) is available over millions of Floridians and contains the following information:
According to the NCSL, which reports voter record dissemination lists by state, Florida’s voter database “is available to the public, except for what is listed as confidential”. The following is listed as confidential:
As we see, although the Voter Registration Number is listed as a confidential field in publicly available sources, the leaked data contains more information than what the government provides.
In the images below, the prices range from $10 USD to upwards of $60 for a more complete list. For the most part, Florida voter databases sell at a relatively cheap rate due to their publicly available nature.
As seen in the top row of the image below, Wisconsin claims the highest price tag at a whopping $242.24 USD (200 EUR) for a full voter database. It doesn’t even need to advertise the amount of records.
A specific vendor lists a package of voter database information of 27 states for the bargain price of $100 USD.
A voter database containing 70 million Filipino voters fetches just $10 USD.
Separate packages are also available on a per State basis in case of the USA.
You can find a few samples of these below:
To ease any sense of impending anxiety for the closet conservatives or the blue specks in a Red Sea, in both official voter databases and hacked Dark Web databases, for whom you casted your vote remains completely confidential. Your actual vote remains private at the ballot box. However, before you sigh of relief, the data does show if you voted, and in what election.
In the U.S., each state determines the rules around accessing voter databases, including who can purchase the lists, what data remains confidential, the protected classes of voter data (e.g., pre-registered), and how the voter information can be used.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reports state-by-state rules for voter registration lists, and in most cases, databases of voter information are either publicly available, able to be purchased for a fee, or reserved only for political campaigns and government usage.
Private data-analytics corporations purchase these voter registration databases to provide campaign support services. Kaplan Strategies, for instance, sells their own lists with the following data:
These lists, along with their consulting services, allow candidates to better target audiences and create maps of “potential voters based on their location, status, race, and marital status.”
By selecting voters who live within a specific distance, housing development, etc., Kaplan creates “walk lists” for campaigners to go door-to-door in an efficient manner. They are also able to determine voting habits, including tendencies to vote early or by absentee, primary election voters, or habitual vs. episodic voters.
Massive voter files are also collected by both the Republican National Committee (the GOP) as well as the Democratice National Committee (DNC) to aid their respective candidates. Also there’s specialists, such as GOP Data Center for Republicans and NGP VAN for Democrats supply data in accessible forms for election campaigns
These overwhelming advantages of voter data for a candidate are further magnified when the opposing candidate doesn’t have access to the same information. Take Bernie Sanders for example.
The DNC voter files store massive amounts of public information gathered across various government offices, including names, addresses, elections voted in, and in some states, date of birth and gender. While each Democratric presidential candidate has access to the DNC data is able to populate the database with their own collected information and analysis, however, they are not allowed to see voter data compiled by rival candidates.
Enter: Bernie Sanders.
During the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, a software firewall crash gave Sander’s staff full view of proprietary voter lists of the Hillary Clinton Campaign, including sensitive voter inclination data in key swing states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
As a punishment, the DNC temporarily barred Bernie Sanders from accessing voter files, locking the presidential hopeful out of extremely valuable data for his day-to-day operations. Without access to these DNC files, Sanders was practically launched back to the pre-2000s era of running a campaign. The Sanders campaign lost their ability to target voters via door-to-door campaigns and curated email and phone lists. And the rest is history.
While most of the voter data is easily accessible or available for purchase, the main difference is the USA government’s ability to track who has the data and for what purpose. When purchased, downloaded, or viewed, the election agencies have oversight into the data and how it changes hands. On the Dark Web, no such capability exists so hackers and foreign parties have free-range over this sensitive data.
With this, foreign actors can predict how candidates will run their campaign and be better positioned to manipulate and interfere. Their biggest tool? Social media.
The very first step to overcoming social influence is recognizing that it is there. During the next election cycle and you are scrolling the FB timeline, be aware of all of the various people and posts. Most likely, these are just robotic attempts to influence you using tailored information based on your personal information.
Just by being aware, the subconscious effects of these subliminal influence tactics could be minimized. For more information on how social media and voter data is used to influence elections, there are great documentaries like The Big Hack, stories like Russia’s social media influence over Ukraine, the Brexit scandal, and more recent US elections.