You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Georgia Democratic leader demands details on voter data breach


The chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia on Monday demanded that Secretary of State Brian Kemp accept help from the Department of Homeland Security after an alleged breach of confidential data that could affect millions of Georgia voter records.

DuBose Porter also criticized Kemp for disclosing few details about the nature and origin of the attack, and he raised concerns that it could affect the April 18 special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Tom Price.

“The security of — and confidence in — our voting system is the bedrock of American democracy,” Porter wrote. “It is your obligation to provide all Georgians with assurance that our voting system is sound and secure.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an inquiry into the suspected cyberattack this month at the request of state officials after university staff told them records kept by the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University may have been compromised.

Kemp’s office on Monday accused Porter of playing politics while trying to create a “manufactured crisis” to help Democratic candidates.

“While we have been patient as KSU works with the FBI to resolve this serious investigation, the Georgia Democrats are launching a manufactured crisis,” Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce said. “They would love nothing more than for us to flout Georgia law and use paper ballots so they can challenge the results when they lose, but we will not cater to such childish antics.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday that there was nothing new to report on the investigation, which is ongoing. University officials have referred all questions to federal officials.

Kemp’s office has said the investigation is not related to its own network and is not a breach of its own, separate database containing the personal information of 6.6 million voters currently registered in Georgia.

Instead, the alleged breach appears to involve records used by the elections center to create electronic poll books (digital lists of eligible voters) used by poll workers in each of the state’s 3,000 precincts to verify voters’ names, addresses and registration.

The center pulls those names from the Secretary of State’s Office’s database, although the list at the center is itself not live on the internet.

Kemp, who oversees the state’s elections, has himself said little about the breach since The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the FBI’s involvement — aside from a brief statement expressing confidence that federal investigators would track down the perpetrator. He has also not responded to a letter demanding similar details that was sent last week by Democrat Jon Ossoff, one of 18 candidates in the race to fill the congressional seat Price vacated to become secretary of health and human services.

Porter’s letter urged Kemp to “immediately” accept an offer made by the Department of Homeland Security last year to scan the state’s elections infrastructure and offer advice on weak spots in the system.

The state experienced few problems during the presidential election, which saw record turnout among active voters.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Georgia Politics

Handel cracks Georgia GOP ‘glass ceiling’
Handel cracks Georgia GOP ‘glass ceiling’

It might not have seemed that way, but the scene at a stuffed Roswell restaurant on the eve of last week’s runoff was a quietly remarkable one. It was the night before the 6th Congressional District vote, and Gov. Nathan Deal was campaigning for a former opponent his staff once described as a spout of “unhinged blather.” Sprinkled...
A new health care debate, Donald Trump, and a spike in breast cancer

Just in time for the renewed, fast-tempo debate over health care in Washington, public health researchers at Georgia State University have produced a pair of studies that help underline just what’s at stake. The more provocative of the two papers has intriguing national implications: In large swaths of the United States, swing areas that handed...
Georgians: Fix health care prices, stop partisanship
Georgians: Fix health care prices, stop partisanship

After the U.S. Senate finally revealed its proposed federal health care bill, advocates revved up their rhetoric with extreme positions, loud cheers and denunciations. “INJUSTICE!” blared the handmade sign of a protester Friday outside U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office. The Senate’s bill “is morally repugnant,” said...
Will Georgia’s 6th District do this all again in 2018?
Will Georgia’s 6th District do this all again in 2018?

Despite initial relief among Georgia’s 6th District residents that the barrage of campaign ads has come to an end, the reprieve might not last too long. “Now we know what New Hampshire looks like,” said Chip Lake, a GOP consultant based in Georgia. The question is, with 2018 just around the corner, will this year’s astronomical...
Trump signs law making it easier to fire bad VA employees
Trump signs law making it easier to fire bad VA employees

President Donald Trump signed a bill into law Friday that would expedite the process for top officials to fire problematic employees at the long-troubled U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The aim of the accountability legislation is to make it easier to root out the bad apples who have helped contribute to the cascade of scandals at the VA, harming...
More Stories