Georgia's Republican candidate for governor, Brian Kemp, says his state's election system is secure. However, voter advocates disagree and have filed suit in federal court.
Kemp, who oversees elections as secretary of state, is being sued on claims that he allowed a massive breach that exposed the voting records and personal information of millions.
In 2016, a hacker by the name of Logan Lamb breached the centralized voting system after locating a loophole and says that 15 gigabits of data including full names, dates of birth, even driver's license and partial social security numbers were up for grabs. This also included “documents with election day supervisor passwords,” Lamb said.
“There was a voter registration database with 6.3 million records of all of Georgia's voters," he claims according to a story published by CNN.
Hacking Fallout Leads To No Change In System
At around that same time, in the summer of 2016, Russian hackers were doing the same sort of snooping by diving into websites of Georgia counties to check weaknesses.
Based on his own findings, Lamb notified Georgia's Center for Election Systems which is operated out of a house on the campus of Kennesaw State University. However, six months later, the state's voter data was still unprotected and easily accessed; everything was still available to anybody who wanted it.
A lawsuit was filed to challenge the security of Georgia’s elections, but then evidence was wiped from hard drives at the Kennesaw State center, which effectively deleted evidence of the prior breach.
Kemp claimed he was uninformed about the loophole. He then blasted the Kennesaw State center on social media, ripped up their contract with the state, and told the public that the system was perfectly safe.
Uninterested in federal help, he also attacked the Obama administration's bid to add a federal government classification of state voting systems as 'critical infrastructure,' which would put them under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security.
Kemp claims this is a states' rights issue and that Georgia is ready to handle it. However, the group that filed the suit says that if the system goes down for any reason, then the votes are lost, and no alternative exists to tally them.
According to CNN, when faced with questions about adjusting the system, Kemp claims that:
"The hysteria of some people seeking to force Georgia to switch to an all paper ballot system is based on misinformation, and making this change would spend money to create problems that we should avoid."
He added, "The chaos of switching to a completely different voting system this close to an election would cause inconvenience, voter confusion, and potentially suppressed turn-out."
Photo Source: Georgia Secretary of State's website