Just two days before the election, a heated battle over voting in Georgia boiled over as the Secretary of State launched an investigation into an alleged hacking attempt by the state’s Democratic party.
Brian Kemp’s office cited no evidence in announcing the probe. Kemp is also the Republican candidate for governor.
The Democratic Party of Georgia called the allegation “100 percent false” and “an abuse of power” by Kemp’s office.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said Sunday that she had heard nothing about the probe.
“Once again Brian Kemp is trying to distract voters with a desperate ploy. He twice this week was told by federal judges that he was wrong when it comes to voter suppression,” Abrams told Channel 2 Action News.
“He is trying to rile up his base by misleading voters yet again.”
A recent poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News has Kemp and Abrams locked in a dead heat.
The development intensified calls for Kemp to step aside as the state’s top election official even as he runs for Georgia’s top political post. Throughout the campaign he has refused to do so.
Kemp’s office didn’t make any evidence public to support the allegation.
“While we cannot comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation, I can confirm that the Democratic Party of Georgia is under investigation for possible cyber crimes,” said Candice Broce, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s Office. “We can also confirm that no personal data was breached and our system remains secure.”
Democratic Party of Georgia Executive Director Rebeccca DeHart called the investigation a “political stunt” just before Election Day.
“Brian Kemp is desperate to save his failing campaign, and it’s likely we’ll see even more of his abuses of power as the election nears,” DeHart said.
The alleged hacking attempt occurred Saturday evening, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
The office has alerted the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The poll by The AJC and Channel 2 found that many voters say they’re deeply skeptical about the integrity of Georgia’s elections, including concerns about tampering and ineligible voters casting ballots.
Forty-nine percent of respondents saying they believe it’s likely or very likely that many people will show up to vote and be told they’re not eligible, according to the poll, which has a 3 percentage point margin of error.
Almost as many of those surveyed are concerned about fraud, with nearly 48 percent saying it’s likely or very likely that people who aren’t eligible will vote in the election.
The concerns largely broke along party lines.