KEY POINTS

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis alerted the deputies after learning about the unauthorized address change
  • Anthony Guevara of Naples was arrested in connection with the hacking
  • Guevara allegedly also accessed the voter information of two sports celebrities

A Florida man was arrested for changing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ address after hacking into the state’s voter registration database.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) began an investigation Monday after DeSantis noticed his registered address was replaced with one in West Palm Beach while he attempted to cast his ballot, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, which was also part of the probe, said in a statement Wednesday.

Deputies arrested 20-year-old Anthony Guevara of Naples in connection with the hacking Tuesday after executing a search warrant at his home. Guevara was facing charges such as unauthorized access of a computer and altering a voter registration without consent.

DeSantis votes from Leon County in Florida. Deputies with the FDLE contacted the Leon County’s Supervisor of Elections Office and obtained logs for the time, date of the request for the change and the IP address that was used to carry out the alteration, CBS-affiliated WTSP-TV reported.

The authorities then tracked Guevara to his home using the IP address.

Guevara allegedly also accessed the voter information of U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and sports celebrities Michael Jordan and LeBron James, but made no changes, according to the statement by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. The motive behind the hacking was not clear. 

Guevara also told the authorities how he carried out the address switch. He said he went to the “Voter Information Lookup” and searched for DeSantis by entering his first name, last name, and date of birth. He told the deputies the changed address was that of a YouTube personality, NBC-affiliated WBBH-TV reported. 

An FDLE digital forensic examiner reportedly found Google searches such as "Florida My Vote" and "Florida Governor" on Guevara’s laptop.

Guevara was booked into the Collier County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

"Our systems are secure,” Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee told WTSP-TV. "There has been no breach to the Florida Department of State’s systems. The Florida Department of State wants every voter to have confidence in the integrity of our elections network. This incident was perpetrated using publicly accessible voter data, and there is no evidence to suggest that this change was made through the Florida Department of State." 

In response to the hacking, Election Attorney Chris Sautter said there are two sets of records maintained by the Secretary of State's office and Guevara could never breach into the state's official voter database, which he described as a "more secure file that deals with the entire voting rolls."

Amid growing concerns about the election security, Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Deputy Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, said voters across the U.S. can be assured their personal voting information is protected from any cyber fraud, WTSP-TV reported.

IMAGESEarly voters line up outside a polling station in Miami, Florida, a week before the presidential election. Early voters line up outside a polling station in Miami, Florida, a week before the presidential election. Photo: AFPTV / Gianrigo MARLETTA