A spokesman for Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is running for governor next year, said the recent controversy over a Kennesaw State election server “is a tasteless nothingburger cooked up by liberal activists who know their lawsuit is nothing short of stupid.
“President Donald Trump was on to something when he coined the term ‘fake news,’” said Kemp spokesman Ryan Mahoney. “I have a list of reporters and news outlets who should appear next to the dictionary definition."
Last week, the AP reported the computer server for the Center for Elections Systems at KSU – which runs the state’s election system – was wiped clean on July 7 after a group of Georgia voters filed a lawsuit challenging the 6th district’s election results.
According to the AP, the data wipe was revealed in an email sent from an assistant state attorney general to plaintiffs in the case, an email that was obtained by the AP.
A Georgia voter advocacy group has filed a lawsuit challenging the 6th district’s results, a race eventually won by Karen Handel that became the nation’s most expensive congressional election in U.S. history.
"After an internal investigation, it was found that nothing nefarious happened at the KSU Center for Elections,” Mahoney said. “The server was copied and re-purposed. All interested parties were notified.
“There is no scandal or vast conspiracy.”
Mahoney said former Gov. Roy Barnes, who has been tapped by the Georgia’s Department of Administrative Services to represent Kemp’s office in the lawsuit, “has full faith and confidence he can prove what we already know," Mahoney said. "Georgia's elections are secure, accessible, and fair.”
The KSU server in question made national headlines in June after a security expert disclosed a security hole that wasn’t fixed six months after he reported it to election authorities.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who are mostly Georgia voters, want to scrap the state’s 15-year-old vote-management system, particularly its 27,000 AccuVote touchscreen voting machines, which they say are hackable devices that don’t use paper ballots or keep hardcopy proof of voter intent.
The plaintiffs were counting on an independent security review of the Kennesaw server, which held electronic poll book data and ballot definitions for counties, to demonstrate the system’s unreliability.
The server data could have revealed whether Georgia’s most recent elections were compromised by hackers.