Secretary of State Brian Kemp gives his victory speech in Tuesday’s GOP runoff for governor. Curtis Compton/
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia elections web update irks voter registration advocates 

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:

Why Metro Atlanta needs to more about Brian Kemp - fast

About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He joined the newspaper...