Secretary of State Brian Kemp has had two roles this year: Running Georgia’s elections and running for governor of the state. Democrats, including former President Jimmy Carter, have called on him to step aside, warning repeatedly of potential conflicts of interest. Kemp is now facing renewed scrutiny after his office announced Sunday — without providing evidence and doing so just hours before Election Day — that it is investigating the Georgia Democratic Party for an alleged hack of the state’s voter registration system. The move to publicly disclose the probe appeared to break with tradition in the office, which oversees voting integrity, as it differed from how Kemp’s team handled an earlier cyber breach at Kennesaw State University. Edgardo Cortés, Virginia’s former elections commissioner, called Sunday’s announcement “bizarre” and said the timing of it is “problematic,” adding he wouldn’t have done it had he been in Kemp’s shoes. Such public statements, Cortés said, could depress voter turnout by making people question the reliability of the election system.
“It all just sounds very strange,” said Cortés, an election security advisor for the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonprofit institute at New York University’s School of Law. “You suddenly open an investigation without giving any sort of details about what happened? In Virginia, we would never have done something like that because I think it would have created a lot of concern among voters.”
Further, Cortés questioned why Kemp’s office said Sunday that no personal data was breached and that the system remains secure despite the attempted hack.
“It is kind of hard to make that determination without actually going through and doing a thorough investigation,” he said.
Full Article: Georgia Election 2018: Kemp under scrutiny in waning days.