Brian Kemp is once again at the center of a lawsuit involving Georgia’s election system, this time alleging he failed to secure Georgia voters’ records more than a year later after being informed and dismissing warnings.
Kemp was elected as Georgia’s secretary of state in 2010. As such he is responsible for maintaining and overseeing Georgia’s election system, which includes its contract with Kennesaw State University’s (KSU) Center for Election Systems which runs Georgia’s election system.
Today Brian Kemp is the Republican candidate running for Georgia’s governor this November.
In June 2017 Politico Magazine first reported about Logan Lamb, a former federal employee in cybersecurity research, who now works for a private security firm in Georgia, was able to download 15 gigabytes of Georgia voter data….the year before, just by entering into KSU Center’s website.
As that was happening a lawsuit had been filed the month before by Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Foundation, “demanding the state abandon its antiquated touchscreen voting machines, which are highly susceptible to being rigged by hackers” an AP story reported, trying to get an injunction requiring the state to use paper ballots in the interim, but it was dismissed by a state judge.
Kemp had been criticizing the law suit and was seen as ‘celebrating’ it’s dismissal rebuffing the “Ivy League professors – many, in actuality, eminent computer scientists” – saying the judge determined “what we already know: Our voting machines in Georgia are safe and accurate” when in reality, the case was only dismissed on legal technicalities.
“Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams ruled on Friday against the activists seeking an injunction, but she did so on a legal technicality—the activists brought the action against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and other election officials, but Georgia’s doctrine of sovereign immunity prevents such legal action against them. She also cited the lateness with which they brought the case—early voting for the June 20 runoff was already underway when the hearing began.”
Which is when Logan Lamb went public saying he had notified KSU’s executive director months before of its vulnerabilities and that after being assured the issues would be addressed he was told to keep quiet about his discovery that KSU’s center had left exposed 6.7 million voters’ records and files, likening KAU’s website to “a door without a lock.”
Though Kemp did later say that it was “deeply concerning” and he planned to sever KSU’s contract, he actually renewed it in July 2017.
At the time of Politico’s report Georgia was preparing for what had become a hotly contested special runoff election on June 20th for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District between Karen Handel and Jon Ossoff and was being labeled as “the most expensive House race in U.S. history” when the week before the public had listened as Federal Intelligence and Cybersecurity officials testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee in officially acknowledged 21 states had been targeted by Russian hackers.
The Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher mocked Politico, dismissing its reporting saying it was nothing more than “Politico Prepares the Faithful for An Ossoff Loss”.
In July six Georgia voters joined Marilyn Marks and filed a legal challenge contesting the special election results again alleging the use of an unsecured voting system and calling the touchscreen system antiquated and criticizing election technology incapable of backing up cast ballots or an audit of results, as well as calling for forensic testing by Homeland Security amid public concern and fears over the recent Congressional testimony.
Four months later in October, the AP reports, it was discovered, “A computer server crucial to a lawsuit against Georgia election officials was quietly wiped clean by its custodians just after the suit was filed.”
Two other servers connected to the system had also been wiped clean.
KSU Center issued a statement 24 hours later, after Georgia’s attorney’s office reported the discovery to the plaintiffs, “attributing the server wiping to “standard operating procedure.”
Kemp responded to the news through his office spokeswoman saying, “he had neither involvement nor advanced warning of the decision” to wipe the server and blamed “the undeniable ineptitude” on KSU’s election center.
On Tuesday CNN reported Kemp now finds himself at the center of another lawsuit brought by Marilyn Marks and Coalition of Good Governance, formally Rocky Mountain Foundation, this time filed in federal court, alleging “Kemp’s office long neglected basic security standards and says it remains unclear if the state’s election system was infected with malware or breached by foreign hackers” as we now head into the November elections and once again “seeks to force the state to implement paper-ballot based voting so that results can be audited.”
CNN reached out to Kemp with questions about the lawsuit and the state’s election system and Kemp replied that “Georgia’s voting equipment “remains accurate and secure” adding, “The hysteria of some people seeking to force Georgia to switch to an all paper ballot system is based on misinformation, and making this change would spend money to create problems that we should avoid.”