For thirty minutes on Wednesday (Dec. 16), a few staffers working on Bernie Sanders’ campaign accidentally stumbled onto a presidential campaign cheat code: A software glitch revealed information about people Hillary Clinton’s team expects to vote in the presidential primaries, and which candidate they are expected to support.
The consequences of the glitch—which originated with Democratic campaign vendor NGP-VAN—could prove devastating to Sanders.
The Democratic party has locked his campaign out of its central voter database until it can figure out exactly what happened, which could hamstring Sanders’ efforts to identify voters and get them to the polls when voting starts early next year. The Iowa caucuses, which kick off voting for the Democratic and Republican nominees, are less than seven weeks away.
“It became clear that one of our staffers accessed some modeling data from another campaign,” Sanders’ campaign spokesperson told The New York Times. “That behavior is unacceptable and that staffer was immediately fired.”
Accounts associated with four Sanders staffers reportedly accessed the Clinton data, officials for the Democratic National Committee told Quartz. The one who got fired was Josh Uretsky, an experienced manager of voter databases who was hired to run the campaign’s data operation in September.
“We investigated it for a short period of time to see the scope of the Sanders campaign’s exposure and then the breach was shut down, presumably by the vendor,” Uretsky told CNN. “We did not gain any material benefit.”
The information accessed by the Sanders campaign is the lifeblood of modern political campaigns.…