PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The state says it cannot access some emails to and from people in state government because it changed email systems.

The Providence Journal reports the loss of access was problematic for an open records request.

Former gubernatorial candidate Ken Block asked the state elections board for communications about voter registration and identification since 2003.

The Division of Information Technology changed email systems in 2015.

Block was told this week there may be additional emails responsive to his request the state can’t retrieve.

The Department of Administration told the newspaper the emails are in a format that’s not easily searchable and it would “take significant resources” to search them.

The department says the state knew it could lose up to 5 percent of its emails when it switched systems, but there was no alternative.