Merle King, executive director for the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University, explains how a DRE, a touchscreen machine voters use when casting their ballot, works, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Kennesaw, Ga. BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL

FBI investigating alleged breach in Georgia at KSU’s elections center

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating an alleged data breach in Georgia at the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

UPDATE: As many as 7.5 million voter records involved in Georgia data breach

The situation is still developing, although the Secretary of State’s Office said Friday that the investigation is not related to its own network and is not a breach of its database containing the personal information on Georgia’s 6.6 million registered voters. The office referred all other questions to both university and federal officials.

The center, based at Kennesaw State University, has since 2002 worked on behalf of the state to oversee the operation of voting machines and election operations across Georgia. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)

In a statement released Friday afternoon, the university said it was “working with federal law enforcement officials to determine whether and to what extent a data breach may have occurred involving records maintained by the Center for Election Systems. Because this involves a pending criminal investigation, Kennesaw State will have no further comment on this matter and any inquiries should be addressed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” the statement said.

The FBI had no immediate comment. The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The election systems center at the university has since 2002 overseen the state’s election operations and voting machines. It does that work through an agreement with the Secretary of State’s Office. It does not, however, maintain live databases or the voter registration database.

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