Fluorite CaF2 and polyvinyl chloride specimens coated with a grounded thin gold layer have been irradiated with 12 and 30 keV electrons, respectively. The change of the halogen x‐ray signal intensity (F Kα and Cl Kα) has been measured as a function of time and for various incident doses. The experimental results are fully explained by a simple model for the anion migration driven by the electrostatic field. An Auger process is suggested for the initial escape of anions from their lattice site. To our knowledge, the migration of halogen ion is reported for the first time. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.