DHS Requests Documents Regarding Alleged Georgia Voter Registration Hack

Homeland Security officials have claimed a federal contractor based in Georgia used an agency computer to perform routine background checks of job applicants and that there was no malicious intent in the checks.

by Kristina Torres, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / January 25, 2017

(TNS) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requested documents Tuesday from state officials after they alleged that the federal agency tried to hack into the Georgia’s voter registration system.

The request from the agency’s inspector general is the first after Georgia congressman Jody Hice and Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, requested an independent review.

They made that request after Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said the agency had not been forthcoming in explaining what happened. Kemp said last month that security scans had found several attempted intrusions, which the state’s cyber security experts flagged as suspicious.

David Dove, the chief of staff and legal counsel in the Secretary of State’s Office, confirmed the request during a hearing Tuesday before the state House Science and Technology Committee.

Homeland Security officials have claimed a federal contractor based in Georgia used an agency computer to perform routine background checks of job applicants and that there was no malicious intent in the checks.

Kemp has been at odds with Homeland Security over other issues, including former agency head Jeh Johnson’s decision earlier this month to designate U.S. election systems as critical infrastructure. Kemp at the time called it a “provocative but predictable decision” and said he was “completely opposed to this blatant overreach and will continue to fight to keep election systems under the control of state government where it belongs.”

Dove said the state is among those requesting that the administration of President Donald Trump rescind the critical infrastructure designation. Some committee members, however, challenged Dove over what they said were Kemp’s politicizing of his disagreement with Homeland Security.

©2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.