Next Story

Bill poses challenge to Georgia governor wary of big tax overhauls

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

Why Donald Trump is more like Ronald Reagan than most other Republicans
Why Donald Trump is more like Ronald Reagan than most other Republicans

A roundup of editorials Monday looks at the economy as Donald Trump and the Republicans work on a tax cut bill. Opinions from the Right  From NBC News: Trump’s active leadership style and his combination of populism with market economics is far closer to Reagan’s words and deeds than anything House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin...
Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama remind us of who we are as a country and other opinions from the Left
Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama remind us of who we are as a country and other opinions from the Left

Here’s a roundup of editorials that remind us of the values we should cherish as a country and how our democracy needs to recover.  Opinions from the Left: From CNN: “We know, deep down, that repression is not the wave of the future. We know that the desire for freedom is not confined to, or owned by, any culture; it is the inborn...
Georgia blocks $100 million in fraudulent tax returns, so far, in 2017
Georgia blocks $100 million in fraudulent tax returns, so far, in 2017

Despite major data breaches such as the one at Equifax, tax agencies — including the Georgia Department of Revenue — are reporting increasing success in the war to stop fraudulent returns from turning into big money for crooks. Department of Revenue Commissioner Lynne Riley said the state has blocked $108 million worth of fraudulent returns...
Audio: Analysis of the Atlanta mayoral debate
Audio: Analysis of the Atlanta mayoral debate

Sunday’s big debate hosted by Channel 2 Action News started out slow, but by the end the candidates for mayor of Atlanta began taking big swings at each other over ethics, over the city’s ongoing corruption scandal and over whose tax lien is the most embarrassing.   Listen to WSB Radio’s Condace Pressley, AJC political reporter...
Cheerleaders continue to take a knee at Kennesaw State football games
Cheerleaders continue to take a knee at Kennesaw State football games

Four Kennesaw State University cheerleaders were seen taking a knee in the stadium tunnel during the national anthem at the university’s football game Saturday evening, continuing their protest to raise awareness about police misconduct and racial inequality. The protest is part of an ongoing controversy on the 35,000 student campus that has...
More Stories