Georgia, for the first time in more than a decade, has decided to move all its elections work in-house after a series of security lapses forced it to step away from its longtime relationship with the beleaguered elections center at Kennesaw State University. The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office and university officials both confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the two entities have signed a final contract good through June 2018. For the first time, however, it includes a provision for either party to terminate it midstream. That’s because the office over the next year will build its own team to run Georgia’s elections — work the KSU center has done for the past 15 years. ”Today my office and Kennesaw State University executed what will be the final contract between our two entities related to the Center for Election Systems,” Secretary of State Brian Kemp said in a statement to the AJC. “The ever-changing landscape of technology demands that we change with it.
“The Secretary of State’s office is equipped, trained and tested to handle these operations in-house,” Kemp said. “I am confident that this move will ensure Georgia continues to have secure, accessible and fair elections for years to come.”
State officials said the decision to keep working with the university until the state builds its own team stemmed from a desire to not disrupt service to county election officials across Georgia. Local officials must make sure training standards and other work is done throughout the year. There are also elections to run in November.
The idea, the Secretary of State’s Office said, is to allow it to take the time needed to establish a new operational election headquarters. It has not been determined how long that will take, although it is possible it could take less than a year.
Full Article: Georgia elections: State to end relationship with KSU center.