The fact that the state university housing the servers that are at the center of a case over the security of Georgia’s election system wiped them clean of all data is both an outrage and extremely suspicious. If a pending state investigation into this breach at the Center for Elections System at Kennesaw State University shows that laws were broken, then Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr shouldn’t hesitate to file charges. The sanctity of Georgia’s ballot box and its elections records must be protected. Our democracy is based on free and fair elections. The public must have confidence that the process is safe and secure. According to The Hill newspaper in Washington, the servers in question had been in the possession of the Center for Elections System, which runs Georgia’s election system on a contract basis. On July 3, a diverse group of election reform advocates filed suit, alleging that Georgia’s election system was flawed and could potentially be rigged. The plaintiffs want to scrap the state’s 15-year-old vote-management system, particularly its 27,000 AccuVote touchscreen voting screens, which are used in Chatham County and elsewhere, that don’t employ paper ballots or keep hardcopy proof of how voters voted. They allege these machines are hackable.
The fact that the evidence that could have proven or disproven this disturbing allegation has been wiped clean from the computers at Kennesaw State is certainly suspect and seems to suggest that someone may have something to hide. According to The Hill, the hard drives on the servers were erased July 7. The fact that someone could seem to pull this off so easily after the state’s voting system was placed in the spotlight only days earlier is alarming and raises other questions about the safety of records held by the state.
Is anything sacred? After what happened at Kennesaw, the answer may be a resounding “no.”
For his part, Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, who’s responsible for the state’s election system, said his office was not involved in wiping the servers of data and had no warning that it was coming. Maybe not. But the buck still rests on Mr. Kemp’s desk. And the “I know nothing” defense, is not particularly convincing or reassuring.