A new firm has taken ownership of hosting Maryland’s elections data after a federal investigation into the Russian ties of the previous vendor.
Maryland elections administrator Linda Lamone said Monday the state will use Intelishift, a Virginia-based data center, and its subsidiary, The Sidus Group, through Dec. 31.
The Sidus Group was previously a unit of ByteGrid LLC. The FBI revealed in July that ByteGrid was connected to Vladimir Potanin, a wealthy ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Potanin is an investor in a private equity firm, Altpoint Capital of Greenwich, Connecticut, that bought an ownership stake in ByteGrid in 2011.
ByteGrid — through The Sidus Group — hosted Maryland’s online voter services, election-night website and voter registration, candidacy and election management systems.
Silver Spring data center operator ByteGrid has acquired Annapolis company Sidus BioData, tapping its market of health care customers who increasingly need help managing and securing large amounts of electronic health records.
Annie Eissler, chief marketing officer for the vendor, ByteGrid LLC, sought to assuage worries from top Maryland leaders after the FBI last week alerted them to ties between the company and a Russian oligarch.
In a related matter, the board — the state’s spending panel — is scheduled to vote Wednesday to approve a $184,000 payment to Cybraics Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for its work assisting the Board of Elections when The Sidus Group was still under ByteGrid’s control and the board sought to move data away from The Sidus Group.