FBI Looking For Woman Who Talked with Dem Party About Hacking System, Georgia Official Says

An official with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office claimed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking for information on “Rachel Small,” who allegedly spoke with Sarah Ghazal, the Democratic Party of Georgia’s Voter Protection Director, about trying to hack the state’s system. But the Dems shot back, saying “Team Kemp is losing their minds,” and the person in question is just a volunteer who passed along an email.

The Secretary of State’s office announced Sunday that they are investigating the Democratic Party of Georgia after an attempted hacking of the voter registration system, but at first, they didn’t explain how they’d argue that local Dems are linked. This is the first inkling of the agency’s actual claim, but the chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia is demanding evidence.

The party released a statement on Sunday, purporting to show the email forwarded by Small. They say a man identified as Richard Wright, who is unaffiliated with the party, sent her an email in which he discussed that a url in the Georgia “My Voter Page” site allowed for downloading any file on the system, and he discussed an apparent vulnerability in online voter registration, in which one could download an individual’s personal data, including driver’s license information and the last four digits of a social security number. In the message, he mentioned that a man named “Nate” might have discussed this with Small previously.

“As is abundantly clear from these emails, it was Richard Wright, not Rachel Small, who performed the actions described,” Dems wrote in their statement. They say Small simply forwarded the email to Ghazal. “The Kemp campaign has no case and must immediately retract their defamatory accusations.”

The Democratic Party of Georgia did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime follow-up request for comment regarding Wright and Nate, and clarification on the full extent of their apparent communication with Small.

Georgia has previously been criticized for vulnerabilities in its voter information system.

Kevin Rowson, the public affairs specialist for the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office, declined to comment. The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment.

Local Democrats flat-out dismissed the office’s claim of election malfeasance this morning. The investigation happens amid very fraught optics for Secretary of State Brian Kemp. He’s the GOP gubernatorial candidate, and faces multiple claims of voter suppression that disproportionately affects immigrantsblack voters, and people filing absentee ballots. He refused to recuse in the event of a recount.

Note: We’ve noted a follow-up statement from the Democratic Party of Georgia.

[Image via Jessica McGowan/Getty Images]

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