After Bungling Public Trust With Voters’ Data, Kemp Says Trust Me This Time

Georgia’s election databases are not at risk of being hacked, even after Arizona and Illinois suffered data breaches, according to the man in charge of the office that inadvertently leaked 6.2 million Georgians’ voter information.

Despite the growing warning signs and several high-profile missteps at the Secretary of State’s office, Brian Kemp wants you, dear reader, to believe he can do a better job of protecting voter security than the Department of Homeland Security.

Speaking to Atlanta’s WABE, Kemp said voter data security:

“[Has] been in our radar, it will continue to be on our radar. We’re working hard everyday to make sure that those type of things don’t happen in Georgia. And then if for some reason they were to happen, we have plans to deal with that.”

Kemp declined to give specifics on the measures, citing security reasons. Kemp recently declined an offer by the Department of Homeland Security for cyber security assistance, raising concerns about the federal government’s intrusion.

“I think we’re all having to deal with the systems, we know them the best. This is part of our job,” Kemp said.  “For us to have to even, I think, try to explain this to others would take away from doing the work of keeping the system secure or reacting to something that’s going on right at this moment.”

Oh. Well that’s reassuring.

And to further allay any worries, Kemp offered this flawless piece of logic to explain why Georgia’s voting mechanisms are safe: “If we’re a sitting duck, why hasn’t somebody done this already?”

It’s fairly arrogant to not ask for a little bit of help regardless of what the SoS’ office has done in the past. But to also rely on Republican cliches to reject the offer? I suppose I can take comfort knowing every policy is him angling for a gubernatorial bid in a few years.

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Dave BearseWill DurantNathanedatlantaJon Richards Recent comment authors
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Jon Richards
Jon Richards

Aren’t we talking apples and oranges here? The question being asked is whether hackers could infiltrate the voter registration database. Using the example of the copies of voter personal information that were mistakenly distributed to the press is not an indication of vulnerability to hackers.

The #PeachBreach occurred due to a series of employee mistakes that ended up sending more data to the press than was intended. No external hackers touched the database itself. The type of hacking Sec. Kemp is confident would be avoided is essentially going through a firewall to examine, and potentially modify the voter data itself.

Will Durant
Will Durant

They are related in a sense and it stems from the credibility of the SoS Kemp’s statements at the outset and during #PeachBreach, or lack thereof. First, it took a lawsuit to be filed before he admitted to a leak. Even after this admission he was less than forthcoming and avoided the press and only granted interviews with one Atlanta teevee person who obviously agreed to throw softballs to get the “exclusive”. Second, he was confident and gave assurances that the data had not been disseminated when the method of distribution had no audit trail whatsoever. In addition this was… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Sixth. #PeachBreach wasn’t the first time the SoS office released voter information that should not have been released. Oconee County 2012.


There are things called “knee-jerk reactions” that should be avoided when it comes to government. I’m fine if we are willing to work with DHS in order to respond to credible threats, but I understand Secretary Kemp’s concern on ceding security of a state system to the federal government (no telling what sort of things we’d have to deal with once that genie is out of the bottle). With that said, I hope those responsible for security and access management are doing penetration tests of their networks and systems as well as beefing up intrusion detection. The stuff some folks… Read more »