Kemp turns election system worries into a political weapon

Georgia Dems accused of ‘hacking voting system’ blame Rep rival for ‘power abuse

Georgia Dems accused of ‘hacking voting system’ blame Rep rival for ‘power abuse

The first two times he blamed a vendor and an employee, and this time he's blaming the Democratic Party.

David Cross, however, an attorney who has been involved in cybersecurity-related litigation against the Georgia Secretary of State's office, said he was also alerted to the potential vulnerabilities by the same individual who contacted the Georgia Democratic Party. "And I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA, and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain".

Just days ahead of the vote, the two candidates are running neck-and-neck.

As NPR's Shannon Van Sant reported over the weekend, U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross side with civil rights groups who charge that the state's "exact match" law, which can be used to disallow voting for such things as missing hyphens, accent marks and middle initials, was overly restrictive.

Kemp leveled the allegation after an attorney for election-security advocates notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Kemp's office on Saturday that a private citizen alerted him to what appeared to be a major flaw in the database used to check in voters at the polls.

Kemp is the 54-year-old businessman and veteran secretary of state vying to keep the GOP's hold on a state that is nearing presidential battleground status courtesy of its growth and diversity.

According to Reuters, Kemp's office did not respond to questions on Sunday about Cross's statements. "And then those entities could have decided whether or not a public comment was warranted at the start of an investigation".

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Though the release offered few details, the hacking allegation reportedly hinges on an email sent by an election security whistleblower to a volunteer for the state Democratic Party's voter protection hotline, warning that Georgia's election websites have major security vulnerabilities. "We are working with our private sector vendors and investigators to review data logs".

The Coalition for Good Governance, a plaintiff in the voting integrity lawsuit against Kemp, issued a statement decrying his outsourcing of the voter registration database and electronic poll book voter check-in system to a third party, PCC Technologies. Those private communications ended up with Kemp announcing, without providing any evidence, that he was launching an investigation into Georgia Democrats for "possible cybercrimes".

So, rather than hack it, Democrats were anxious about protecting a voter data base that Kemp has previously failed to keep secure.

"This is yet another example of abuse of power by an unethical secretary of state", Rebecca DeHart, executive director of the Georgia Democratic Party, said on Sunday.

Kemp's latest allegations were met with scepticism from cybersecurity experts, who noted that identifying who is behind a particular hack was time-consuming and extremely hard. Alex Stamos, Facebook's former security chief, asked on Twitter.

Kemp's dual roles as Secretary of State and candidate, a massive conflict of interest, have allowed him to engage "in acts of voter suppression aimed to decrease the turnout for" Abrams, Richard L. Hasen writes at Slate.

The Brennan Center for Justice says the number of voters "purged" skyrocketed under Kemp, reaching an estimated 1.5 million between the 2012 and 2016 elections.

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