A computer server that was used to store key elections data in the state of Georgia was completely wiped earlier this year after voting rights advocates filed a suit against Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
The Associated Press reports that the server’s data was destroyed this past July by unnamed technicians at the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University, which is responsible for running Georgia’s entire elections system. What’s more, two backup servers were also wiped completely clean in August, which was right around the time when a lawsuit against Kemp moved to federal court.
The lawsuit, which the AP says was filed shortly before the data server was wiped, was filed to end the state’s current voting infrastructure, which the plaintiffs claim is far too vulnerable to fraud and tampering. Among other things, the lawsuit notes that the state’s 27,000 AccuVote touchscreen voting machines do not offer paper receipts and are vulnerable to hacking.
“The server data could have revealed whether Georgia’s most recent elections were compromised by malicious hackers,” the AP notes. “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.”
Kemp’s office claims that it had nothing to do with the center’s decision to wipe the server, despite the fact that center answers directly to Kemp. However, at this point it is not clear who ordered both the primary server and the backup servers wiped clean of data.
But Richard DeMillo, a Georgia Tech computer scientist, tells the AP that this should raise suspicions of some kind of foul play going on behind the scenes.
“People who have nothing to hide don’t behave this way,” he said.