October 26, 2017 10:26 AM
You’d like to think no one in Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office or the KSU Center for Election Systems would be so glaringly inept as to wipe the data off a server that is the center of a lawsuit over election security. And that they wouldn’t do so immediately after said lawsuit was filed. But someone did exactly that.
It’s hard to read this damning report from the Associated Press and not come away thinking something nefarious is at work. (FWIW: Kemp’s office disavowed any connection to the wipe and KSU declined to comment).
From the report:
The server’s data was destroyed July 7 by technicians at the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University, which runs the state’s election system. The data wipe was revealed in an email — sent last week from an assistant state attorney general to plaintiffs in the case — that was obtained by the AP. More emails obtained in a public records request confirmed the wipe.
Kemp and his GOP allies insist Georgia’s elections system is secure. But Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, a plaintiff, believes the server data was erased precisely because the system isn’t secure.
“I don’t think you could find a voting systems expert who would think the deletion of the server data was anything less than insidious and highly suspicious,” she said.
The server data could have revealed whether Georgia’s most recent elections were compromised by malicious hackers. The plaintiffs contend that the results of both last November’s election and a special June 20 congressional runoff— won by Kemp’s predecessor, Karen Handel — cannot be trusted.
The best (?) explanation is that KSU is just plain-ole incompetent. The report notes an “ultimately ineffective effort by Kennesaw State systems engineers to fix the main server’s security hole” when the security lapse was first identified.
The FBI may have made an exact “image” of the server’s data, but the FBI won’t confirm if it has done so and it remains to be seen if the FBI would share the copy.