By now you may have heard that Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who oversees elections in Georgia, and who is running for governor of Georgia this coming Tuesday, claims the Democratic Party hacked the voter registration database.
No. What happened is, when the state Democratic Party's voter protection director reached out to his office directly after being alerted to a gaping data vulnerability, he turned his own malfeasance into an attack on his opposition:
By the time Democrats reached out to the experts, Kemp’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had already been alerted to the problem on Saturday morning by David Cross of the Morrison Foerster law firm. Cross is an attorney for one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Kemp and other elections officials concerning cyber weaknesses in Georgia’s election system.
A man who claims to be a Georgia resident said he stumbled upon files in his My Voter Page on the secretary of state’s website. He realized the files were accessible. That man then reached out to one of Cross’s clients, who then put the source and Cross in touch on Friday.
The next morning, Cross called John Salter, a lawyer who represents Kemp and the secretary of state’s office. Cross also notified the FBI.
WhoWhatWhy, which exclusively reported on these vulnerabilities Sunday morning, had consulted with five computer security experts on Saturday to verify the seriousness of the situation. They confirmed that these security gaps would allow even a low-skilled hacker to compromise Georgia’s voter registration system and, in turn, the election itself. It is not known how long these vulnerabilities have existed or whether they have been exploited.
In this election and during the primaries, voters have reported not showing up in the poll books, being assigned to the wrong precinct, and being issued the wrong ballot.
All of that could be explained by a bad actor changing voter registration data.
Kemp's incompetence at securing voter registration data should be criminal. If he were a corporate executive, he could personally be sued in the EU and in other parts of the world for his negligence.
But, see, if you're running in a state where the majority of voters want your opponent to win, and you're a Republican, and you have the means and opportunity, you just bollocks up data security so badly that the entire registration process looks suspect. Then you either win, because the opposition can't vote, or you lose, and start bogus investigations to call the election's legitimacy into doubt.
This has been the Jim Crow strategy for a century and a half. That Kemp's opponent is an African-American woman with clear support from a majority of Georgians only makes Kemp's behavior more brazen.
The Republican Party can't win on the merits in most of the country, so they're throwing the game where they can. And the fact that their behavior undermines the legitimacy of elections in general is a feature, not a bug.
I've said this for 30 years: the Republican Party doesn't want to govern; they want to rule. And they are not going to give up their losing battle quietly. Nihilism doesn't care, after all.
Vote on Tuesday, if you haven't already. Enough of this shit. We have real problems to solve, and we need real people to solve them. Don't let the nihilists win.