Georgia voter info posted online after breach of software company

Fulton County elections workers work with voters during early voting at Chastain Park Gymnasium in Atlanta’s Chastain Park neighborhood, Wednesday, December 16, 2020.  (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
Fulton County elections workers work with voters during early voting at Chastain Park Gymnasium in Atlanta’s Chastain Park neighborhood, Wednesday, December 16, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Election officials say state records remain secure

A data breach of the voting software company EasyVote Solutions exposed Georgia voters’ registration information on the internet.

Public information about voters was posted to an online forum, but the breach didn’t involve Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers, said Charles Davis, chief financial officer for EasyVote. Voter registration information can include names, addresses, races and dates of birth.

EasyVote’s software isn’t connected to Georgia voter registration computers. EasyVote doesn’t generate or count ballots, and it’s not used for election results.

The company, based in Woodstock, provides software that streamlines voter check-ins during early voting in dozens of counties across Georgia, including Fulton, Oconee and Paulding counties. The software uses local voter registration to print out filled-in election applications for voters when they arrive at the polls, instead of requiring voters to complete paperwork by hand.

Voter information may have been obtained from an EasyVote online storage location, Davis said. It’s unclear how many voters were affected by the breach, which EasyVote learned about on Jan. 31.

“Upon learning that the files had been made available, EasyVote immediately started an investigation,” Davis said. “EasyVote quickly disabled access to that storage location and transferred the data to a new environment with additional security controls.”

The Georgia voter registration system remains secure, according to the secretary of state’s office.

“EasyVote is not part of Georgia’s voting system. They are a vendor that some counties use to assist them with voter check-in procedures. No part of the state system has been affected,” said Ari Schaffer, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office.

EasyVote contacted law enforcement and is working with a cybersecurity firm, Davis said. The company is reviewing the files to determine the extent of the information that may have been exposed.