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Maryland voters cast ballots in the 2016 election. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI told Maryland officials that ByteGrid LLC — the election system Maryland uses to handle statewide voter registration, online ballot delivery and more — has ties to a Russian oligarch, reports the Washington Post.

The big picture: States are working to secure their election systems in anticipation of cyber attacks by Russia or other foreign actors ahead of this year's midterms, but each state runs its own system — and there remain vulnerabilities across the board.

The details: In 2015, AltPoint Capital Partners, whose fund manager is a Russian and largest investor is a Russian oligarch named Vladimir Potanin, funded ByteGrid LLC, per the Post.

  • ByteGrid LLC has a $7.5 million contract with Maryland that ends in 2019, and the state's attorney general is looking into whether the deal can be terminated.
  • "Even the appearance of the potential for bad actors to have any influence on our election infrastructure could undermine public trust in the integrity of our election system," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said.
  • Hogan and other top state officials have sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking for technical assistance to test the state's election security.

Go deeper: 14 states have requested Congress' election security upgrades funding

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.