Millions of Georgia voters may have had their personal information compromised for the second time in as many years, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation Friday at Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems involving an alleged data breach. As many as 7.5 million voter records may be involved, according to a top state official briefed on the information but not authorized to speak on the record. Neither federal officials nor university officials would confirm the scope of the investigation or how many records had potentially been accessed. State officials found out about the breach Thursday evening, after being notified by the university. The governor’s office said it asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to contact the FBI after learning about the scope of the problem. “After learning of this incident at Kennesaw State University, we reached out to law enforcement,” Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said. “This matter is deeply concerning, but I am confident the FBI working with KSU will track down the perpetrator.”
The university in a statement released Friday afternoon said it was “working with federal law enforcement officials to determine whether and to what extent a data breach may have occurred involving records maintained by the Center for Election Systems.”
“Because this involves a pending criminal investigation, Kennesaw State will have no further comment on this matter and any inquiries should be addressed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” the statement said.
The FBI had no immediate comment. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office also declined to comment because the investigation is ongoing.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office said Friday that 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. The office referred all other questions to both university and federal officials.