Cobb County announced Wednesday that police have made an arrest in the theft of elections equipment containing voters’ personal information taken from a precinct manager’s car last week.
Cobb officials don’t think the theft was an attempt to tamper with the voting process ahead of the Tuesday election, which drew national attention.
“It was a random theft and the suspect had no idea what the equipment was,” said Sheri Kell, Cobb spokeswoman.
Fingerprints from the vehicle that was broken into matched 18-year-old Kareem Riley, who was arrested off Riverdale Road in College Park about 1 a.m. Wednesday.
The ExpressPoll unit stolen could not have been used to fraudulently vote, Cobb elections director Janine Eveler assured ahead of the election.
The equipment was used to check in voters at the polls and includes drivers’ license numbers, addresses and other data — not Social Security numbers.
Earlier this week, Eveler said “it does require some knowledge or expertise to use the machine to retrieve the information.”
Stil, Secretary of State Brian Kemp said at the time that it was “unacceptable” that Cobb officials waited two days to notify him of the theft.
Police searched Riley’s Clayton County apartment about 1 a.m. Wednesday, an hour after CNN called the 6th Congressional District election that would result in a runoff.
Riley told police he threw the equipment into a dumpster off Cascade Road in Atlanta. But it had already been emptied and discarded into a landfill by the time cops found that out.
The landfill company told investigators that the “polling equipment in question was rendered inoperable during the sorting and compaction process prior to being delivered to the landfill," according to Cobb police.
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