Remember when Brian Kemp, then the secretary of state of Georgia, was running for governor against Stacey Abrams in 2018? He was using his position to suppress the vote and, as Daily Kos’ Stephen Wolf wrote in November of that year, "suspended and purged countless voter registrations, removed hundreds of polling places to make voting less convenient for those with limited transportation options, had his allies on local elections boards fail to provide adequate resources to handle high turnout, exposed Georgia's election systems to massive security vulnerabilities, and baselessly claimed Democrats had committed cyber crimes to cover up his own security failures." Surely you remember all that, because Kemp "won" that election, the most blatant case of electoral theft since the Supreme Court selected George W. Bush to be president in 2000.
That wasn't all Kemp did, though. He made a big announcement the Sunday before the election, saying that "the Democratic Party of Georgia is under investigation for possible cyber crimes" and that he was launching an investigation into it. That "investigation" has now been quietly closed by the state's attorney general's office, which says that it had found no evidence at all to substantiate the claim.
State Democrats have called Kemp's investigation what it is—a sham—and now they have the state's findings to back them up. "More than a year after the sitting secretary of state leveraged baseless accusations against his political opponents, we're finally receiving closure on an 'investigation' that has been a sham from the start," said Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams. "As we have since well before these outright lies came to light in the first place, Georgia Democrats will continue to do everything in our power to fight back against voter suppression."
"This is Kemp's playbook in his desperate attempt to keep his ever-loosening grasp on power," said Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams' campaign director and currently the CEO for Fair Fight Action, a voting rights group. "The motivation is clear: producing headlines while wasting the time and resources of individuals and groups who dared to challenge Kemp." And, of course, to eke out whatever other support he could to steal the election.
Reporting at the time of the election pointed to the efforts of a private citizen, Richard Wright, to inform the state about vulnerabilities he had found in two of the state's election webpages. Wright provided this information both to a Democratic Party volunteer and to lawyers who were involved in an election security-related lawsuit against Kemp. Kemp found out about it, and, rather than addressing the vulnerabilities, started this bogus investigation. The AG's office said in its memo on its closing of the investigation that it "did not reveal any evidence to support the criminal prosecution of Mr. Wright." Well, duh.
Published with permission from Daily Kos