Georgia’s shotgun-toting, Trump-style Republican candidate for governor Brian Kemp has sought to assure voters that his state’s election system is secure and that any allegations to the contrary are “fake news.” But Kemp, who is also the secretary of state in charge of Georgia’s elections, is now being accused in a federal lawsuit of failing to secure his state’s voting system and allowing a massive breach that exposed voter records and other sensitive election information. The allegations in the lawsuit come as the subject of election security has come into focus nationally, particularly as the November’s midterm elections approach. The suit describes how a private researcher discovered the records of more than 6 million registered Georgia voters, password files and encryption keys could be accessed online by anyone looking. Days after the lawsuit was filed, technicians erased the hard drives of the server in question.
Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, a plaintiff in the suit, argues Kemp’s office long neglected basic security standards and says it remains unclear if the state’s election system was infected with malware or breached by foreign hackers, which she says could have consequences for the midterm elections. She said because the data was destroyed, an independent review cannot be conducted.