Kemp’s office concludes election data not lost in server wipe

5:20 p.m Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 AJC Homepage
Secretary of State Brian Kemp

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office said Monday that Kennesaw State University’s elections center acted “in accordance with standard IT procedures” when it wiped data from a computer server shortly after a lawsuit was filed seeking to force the state to overhaul its election technology.

The data wipe, first reported by The Associated Press, was revealed in an email sent by a state prosecutor to lawyers representing election transparency advocates who filed the lawsuit on July 3 questioning the security and accuracy of Georgia's election infrastructure.

The documents show the destruction of the data occurred July 7 at the Center for Elections Systems at KSU, which runs the state's election system.

Kemp, a candidate for governor, promised an investigation, the results of which were released Monday. In it, his office said the center acted “without any oversight, permission or direction” from his office, which oversees elections. 

KSU  said that a server that had been examined by the FBI was wiped so it could be repurposed, and that the FBI had a copy of the data that was on the server. KSU officials did not disclose that information until several hours after stories on the data wipe became national news.

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