An update to Georgia’s elections website that put voter registration pages temporarily offline on Saturday infuriated some advocates who questioned the timing of the technical work.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office said the maintenance of the online sites was long-scheduled and that local elections officials were notified in advance.
Kemp, the Republican nominee for governor, oversees state elections and has faced intense scrutiny ahead of his November matchup against Democrat Stacey Abrams. The two have long traded accusations about his handling of elections issues and voter rights complaints.
Soyini Coke was among those who logged on to the state’s voter registration website on Saturday to discover a “temporarily unavailable” message. She accused the office of doing “subtle things” to suppress registration.
“It’s totally unacceptable for them to have lapses in service during prime registration time, 60 days out from the voter registration deadline,” said Coke, among more than a dozen voter-registration activists who sent emails or took to social media criticizing the timing.
Kemp’s office launched the “My Voter Page” in 2010 and mobile voter registration applications in 2014. A spokeswoman with the office, Candice Broce, said those platforms needed “routine maintenance” to keep them up to date.
“We sent out a notice on Friday morning to all 159 counties at 9 a.m.,” she said, adding they were back online by early Sunday.
Kemp’s campaign spokesman Ryan Mahoney called the complaints “fake outrage” and said the same people raising concerns “about the security of Georgia elections are complaining about site upgrades that keep our systems secure.”
Read more recent AJC coverage of the Georgia governor’s race:
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