Never mind those pesky Russians, says Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The real problem is the obsession of the mainstream media (and maybe a congressional committee or two) with tales of Moscow’s attempts to influence our elections. From his op-ed piece in USA Today:
Misinformation from the media or disgruntled partisans not only fuels conspiracy theorists but also erodes the first safeguard we have in our elections — the public’s trust. Failing to respect this process with accurate reporting is a disservice to the American people.
To be candid, the most plausible and potentially effective attack on our elections is not by hacking the vote — it is through the manipulation of the American media machine. With “breaking news” that generates voter confusion, these baseless attacks and inaccurate stories enhance voter apathy and erode our confidence in the cornerstone of our democracy. That’s the real story.
Read his entire piece. But a couple, three points here:
— First, Kemp is making a 2018 Republican run for governor of Georgia under the Donald Trump banner. He can expect some criticism of his operation, and the op-ed piece may be a form of innoculation.
— Secondly, we would point you to this June 15 article by our AJC colleague Kristina Torres:
The Kennesaw State University center that has helped run Georgia’s elections for the past 15 years may lose its contract in a matter of weeks because of concerns over security lapses that left 6.5 million voter records exposed.
The secretary of state’s office says it is “actively investigating alternative arrangements” to using Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems, news that coincided with the unmasking Wednesday by Politico Magazine of the security researchers behind a data scare involving the center that became public in March.
— And on Friday, Kemp said he would provide limited, publicly available data to an “integrity” commission established by President Trump to investigate widespread voter fraud – the kind that, according to Trump, cost him 3 million popular votes in November.
This is a tricky issue that could take an unexpected turn, even among Trumpians. Other states have declined the request. Mississippi suggested a jump in the Gulf. one-upping that, a Kentucky lawmaker on CNN said there is not enough bourbon to make sense out of the Trump Administration’s request for voter information. Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, has posted this Tweet: