As evidence mounts that Russia is again trying to interfere in U.S. votes, Georgia’s top elections official faces new scrutiny of his oversight of the state’s voting system. Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican candidate for governor, tells voters the state’s elections system is secure and that he doesn’t need additional help from Washington to defend against hackers. But he’s also open to a paper-based voting system, which his critics from both parties say is essential to ensuring the state’s touch-screen voting machines can’t be undermined. And he’s come under fire for past lapses that have left confidential voter data vulnerable. For Kemp, who launched a statewide bus tour Monday, the fears about the state’s voting network are misguided. He said in an interview he’s “completely confident” in the integrity of Georgia’s election system, and brushed aside concerns the state isn’t doing enough to protect the ballots.
“I hate saying I’m completely confident, but knock on wood, we’ve got the right protocols in place,” he added, rapping his knuckles on a table. “We are literally working on that night and day. We have to be ever-vigilant.”
For his critics, Kemp’s stance is evidence that he’s not up to the challenge of protecting the vote from a host of foreign and domestic threats.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the Republican front-runner, wants to scrap touchscreen voting machines in part because he fears the current system leaves ballots vulnerable to hacking. His spokesman had sharper words, questioning whether Kemp could run a “competent election.”
Full Article: Kemp faces new voter security questions amid Russia probe.