DNC Sues Georgia Governor Over His Bullshit Claims Democrats Hacked The State's Voter Registration System

from the hope-you've-got-a-20-on-you,-Kempster dept

The never-ending amount of election related litigation keeps on coming. The Trump campaign is still heavily invested in lawsuits -- a practice it started before the election and it hasn't scaled back now that its boy has been handed an L.

Georgia remains a hotly contested state, thanks in part to pressure applied by the outbound President and his many minions. It will recount all five million votes, which Trump appears to believe will reverse Biden's 14,000-vote lead.

Georgia has long been a victim of its Governor, dating back to his days as the Secretary of State. During Brian Kemp's tenure as an elected official, voting in Georgia has been little more than his political plaything. Issues with the state's voting tech were ignored in favor of Kemp's indulgence in wild speculation, culminating with his baseless claims the Democratic National Committee had hacked the state's voter registration system. A Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigation found no evidence supporting Kemp's ridiculous assertions.

Now, as Courthouse News reports, the DNC is suing Kemp over his election related bullshit. This isn't a defamation suit, even though it's possible to see that claim being raised. Instead, the DNC alleges the then Secretary of State violated federal election laws with his claims of DNC hacking and his decision to air his speculation hours before the polls opened in 2018.

The lawsuit [PDF] opens with this stinging sentence, which highlights one the many problems with allowing Brian Kemp to oversee the 2018 election.

Kemp was also a candidate in the governor’s election that year. He claimed, however, that he could fairly manage an election at the same time as was running in it.

And how did he "manage" it? Like this:

Two days before the election, Kemp worked with others to release a statement on the Secretary of State’s website that said in all capital letters: “AFTER FAILED HACKING ATTEMPT, SOS LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO GEORGIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY.”

The statement further claimed to “confirm that the Democratic Party of Georgia is under investigation for possible cyber crimes,” and noted that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security had been alerted.

The DNC never hacked the voter registration system. Instead, a private citizen reported security flaws in the Secretary of State's website to a DC election lawyer. This report later made its way to the DNC local branch in Georgia. Eventually, news made its way back to Brian Kemp -- via the DNC, FBI, and the DC election lawyer. It was this information Kemp spun into a fantastic tale of DNC hackery.

The lawsuit recounts Brian Kemp's ineffectual run as Secretary of State, an era marked by multiple reports of serious flaws in the voting system he was supposed to be overseeing. Then, as he was running for a new post, he decided to broadcast unsupported claims about Democratic Party interference in the very election he was interfering with. This included Kemp's bizarre anger over DHS penetration testing -- testing he had apparently asked the DHS to perform.

He converted both of his fantasies into last-minute electioneering for his governor run, sending out emails to supporters claiming he had "intercepted" the Democrats' "fourth quarter Hail Mary pass" and would be holding these "power-hungry radicals" accountable for their "criminal behavior."

The lawsuit says many people and entities were informed about security flaws in the voting system, but Kemp chose a single target to attack with baseless claims of criminal behavior.

The DNC accuses Kemp of violating federal law by falsely targeting it with these accusations. It alleges this was done in retaliation for its efforts to unseat Kemp and support its own candidates.

Here, Defendant Kemp has shown a pattern of falsely accusing Democratic administrations and Democratic parties of “hacking.” In 2016, he accused President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security of a “large attack on our system.” Unsatisfied with the DHS explanation for why there was no attack, Defendant Kemp asked the incoming Trump administration to investigate further. Later, he conceded that there had never been any hacking.


Defendants accused the Democratic Party of Georgia even though the Democratic Party of Georgia’s only involvement was to (1) receive information from Richard Wright on a voter security hotline; (2) forward that information to two experts at Georgia Tech; and (3) inform the Secretary of State’s office.


Defendants conspired to accuse the Democratic Party of Georgia of cyber crimes without any basis.


Defendants’ choice to maintain the public statements on the Secretary of State website even after they found out that the Democratic Party of Georgia was not the source of the vulnerability information was and is an ongoing substantial step in furtherance of the conspiracy.

Defendants’ choice not to remove the public statements on the Secretary of State website even after they found out that the supposed “intrusion” was the Department of Homeland Security acting at the request of the Secretary of State was and is an ongoing substantial step in furtherance of the conspiracy.

That's one potential federal law violation. There's another one listed in the lawsuit. Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act forbids anyone from intimidating voters or coercing votes. The DNC alleges Kemp's actions and statements were meant to intimidate the DNC and divert its resources towards responding to baseless accusations during the final days of the state election.

The DNC isn't asking for much. The damage request is limited to $20.00. But it does want an injunction in place requiring the removal of Kemp's disproven accusations from the state's Secretary of State website.

This lawsuit is one of what will likely be several postscripts appended to the 2020 elections. Claims of hacking, fraud, and other voting related misconduct have been delivered by a number of Republicans over the past several weeks. But baseless claims of election malfeasance aren't a recent development.

They've been a permanent fixture of the Republican party since Trump took office -- urged on by a president who lost the popular vote in 2016 but ended up with the most Electoral College votes. Ever since then, the Republican Party has waged war on the democratic process, having realized allowing the voting process to go unfucked could possibly result in fewer Republicans being elected.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: brian kemp, elections, georgia, voting, voting machines
Companies: dnc

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 17 Nov 2020 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re:

    "That's a bunch of victim-blaming BS, right there."

    No, not really. qui tacet consentire videtur is a terrible line for law but an unfortunate reality in politics. Hitler could never have won in 1933 if even half of the germans had decided to stand against him. But this isn't victim-blaming.
    It's blaming the vast majority of americans who saw the victims abused and never could be arsed to move in enough numbers to suppress what started out as a small minority and is now about 30% of the US citizenry.

    The fact of the matter is that despite Trump being as openly malicious as he was Biden barely won. And still doesn't hold congress and senate. Why?
    Because while 1 out of 3 americans are so eager for a leader of ANY kind to emerge who will "fuck the liberals" over at any price the saner 2/3 keep fooling themselves into believing there is a rational and civil answer as long as the savage animals keep being invited to the dinner table.

    The republicans have been fairly above board with their agenda for some time now. It's time to draw lines, the same way they have.
    When you sit down with the racist uncle at the dinner table you provide validation for his views.
    Your friend whose s.o. is a bona fide nazi? Yeah, you may have to abstain from hanging with him if she's a tagalong.
    Your in-law who voted for Trump? He's made his position clear and it's not a political one - it's a statement that he's OK with atrocities as long as it brings a victory for his "team".

    The american political establishment has kept inviting, to serious debate, people who would have the Greatest Generation grasping for their M14's and Colts. All because in a naíve belief in bipartisanship with the Very Fine People and those who believe those Very Fine People are OK enough to vote for.

    Biden more or less has to speak of reconciliation where Trump and GWB were happy to divide. Well, it might be time for liberals and the rational moderates to tell Biden to Fuck That Noise and send the message that no sane person wants to bridge the gap leading to racists and fascists.

    Because every time that hand is extended is just an ask for another beating. At some point this becomes the image of a violent asshole beating up a well-intentioned idiot who won't defend himself until the asshole's already beaten him into a cripple.

    This is the reason why Malcolm X said he feared the ignorant well-intentioned liberal more than the openly aggressive klansman. Because they don't stay angry. They just calm down and invite more debate, sweeping the latest spate of atrocities under the carpet.

    Victim-blaming? No, but it's time to own that if it hadn't been for moderates and liberals continually trying to lure the racists and fascists to the negotiation table the GOP would never have gotten the impression that catering shamelessly to that crowd was a winning idea.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.