The secretary of state for Georgia and Republican candidate for governor, Brian Kemp, announced on Sunday that he is investigating the Democratic Party of the state for an alleged attempt to hack the voter registration system. The Democrats branded the denunciation as a brazen “political trick” two days before the midterm elections.
Kemp, who is in a close race against Stacey Abrams, denounced that the Democratic Party made a “failed attempt to hack the voter registration system” and announced that his office is opening a party investigation. He added that they alerted the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, but did not offer evidence to support his allegations.
“While we can not comment on the details of an ongoing investigation, I can confirm that the Democratic Party of Georgia is being investigated for possible cybercrimes,” Candice Broce, secretary of press for the secretary of state, said in a statement. “We can also confirm that no personal data was accessed and that our system remains secure .”
The Democrats rejected the announcement, which took place in the context of one of the most contested races in the country before the midterm elections on Tuesday.
Rebecca DeHart, executive director of the Democratic Party in the state, said in a statement that the investigation was “another example of abuse of power by an unethical secretary of state.”
“To be very clear, Brian Kemp’s claims are 100 percent false , and the Georgia Democratic Party was unaware of this so-called investigation until a campaign agent in Kemp’s official office issued a statement this morning,” DeHart said. “This political Kemp trick just days before the election is another example of why he can not be trusted and should not oversee an election in which he is also a candidate for governor.”
Abrams said on Sunday during an interview with Jake Tapper of CNN that Kemp’s announcement was “a desperate attempt to distract people from” court decisions that went against the decisions he made as secretary of state, the agency who oversees voting in the state.
“He is desperate to divert the conversation from his failures, from his refusal to honor his commitments and from the fact that he is part of a national system of voter suppression that will not work in this election because we are going to overcome him. we’re going to win, “Abrams said.
The latest dispute in the disputed race has to do with Kemp’s current role as the state’s top election official. That controversy centers on Kemp purging tens of thousands of voters, most of whom are black, from voters’ lists before next week’s election. Kemp has denied that he is trying to suppress the black vote, saying that he is simply complying with the law.
Abrams has accused Kemp of undermining confidence in democracy and creating “an atmosphere of fear” for voters through his actions as secretary of state. Kemp has called these accusations “a farce.”
Former President Jimmy Carter, born in the state of Georgia, recently asked Kemp to resign.
Last month, a poll by NBC News / Marist found that the race is essentially tied, with likely voters favoring Kemp by 49% to 47%, a number within the margin of error of the poll. Among registered voters, the two candidates are tied at 47%.