Brian Kemp is blaming Democrats for a failed attempt to hack Georgia voter registration. And Democratic Party officials are calling Kemp’s claims yet another underhanded attempt to win the gubernatorial election on Tuesday.
Kemp, the Republican candidate, who is also the secretary of state overseeing Georgia’s elections, is running against Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams. He has requested an FBI investigation into the hacking but offered no supporting evidence to support his claims that it was done by Democrats.
Kemp made a statement on Sunday on his Facebook page:
“After learning of a failed attempt to hack the state’s online voter registration and My Voter Page, my office contacted the Department of Homeland Security and opened an investigation. We have asked the FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate potential cyber crimes committed by the Democratic Party of Georgia.”
State Democratic Party officials vehemently deny Kemp’s claims and have called him being both a candidate and secretary of state an abuse of power. In fact, former President and former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter had asked Kemp to step down as secretary of state since he was running for governor.
David Cross, a Georgia businessman with an expertise in software, is a lawyer representing Georgia voters who sued the state over its decision not to use paper ballots.
Kemp’s claims against Democrats seem to result from a report Cross made on Saturday to his office and the FBI. He didn’t think Kemp’s answer would be to blame Democrats.
“We expected the secretary of state would take that seriously and would take whatever remedial actions needed to be taken, and we were surprised to see that the response was to accuse the Democrats of hacking,” Cross said on Sunday, according to Reuters.
“It’s wrong to call it an investigation,” Abrams told CNN on Monday. “It’s a witch hunt that was created by someone who is abusing his power.”
‘Pattern of Voter Suppression’
In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” also on Monday, Abrams said that Kemp’s new claims against Democrats is another example of his “pattern of voter suppression.”
In regard to Kemp’s pattern of voter suppression, on Friday, NAACP Georgia State Conference and Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law won an injunction against the use of the controversial voter regulating software Exact Match.
The injunction challenged Kemp’s decision not to process more than 53,000 voter registration applications to seemingly boost his campaign. According to an Associated Press report, the voter registrations are predominantly from Black people, an estimated 70 percent.
A federal judge decided that “exact match” rules for voter registration will not apply to Tuesday’s midterm vote, which will allow people to vote who have seen their voter registration held up.
That was a defeat for Kemp’s campaign.
And, in August, Kemp was tied to a proposal to close seven of nine polling centers within Randolph County a predominantly Black county. But Georgia elections board blocked the bid to close the polling places, after critics called it a blatant attempt to undercut Abrams, who could become the country’s first Black woman governor.
Reader Question: Is Brian Kemp running for governor while acting as the Georgia secretary of state an abuse of power