The story of stolen Georgia ExpressPoll check-in units has gotten worse after news that stolen units contained a copy of the state’s voter file, which exposes every registered voter in the state of Georgia to identity theft.
Voter files contain voter registration information, meaning first and last names, party affiliations, home addresses, drivers license numbers and more. Units are used to expedite the process of checking in at polling locations.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a Cobb County Elections Office official had units stored in a parked car on Saturday April 15 when it was stolen in a break-in. Cobb County police and the state Board of Elections are investigating.
Georgia has a special election today, April 18, for the state’s 6th Congressional District.
In announcing the theft on Monday, Secretary of State Brian Kemp issued a statement promising that the state was “taking steps to ensure that [the theft] has no effect on the election tomorrow.” Kemp’s statement also said that he was “confident that the results will not be compromised.” He slammed county elections officials for failing to report the theft for days, calling it “unacceptable.”
If they intended to use the theft to commit voter fraud, the thieves ran out of time; voter registration ended March 20 and voters had until last Friday, April 14 to request an absentee ballot. (The theft happened Saturday.)
Candice Broce, Press Secretary for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, says they are taking the matter seriously and are addressing it in several ways. In an e-mailed statement, Broce wrote that they had reconfigured coding to make the stolen machines unusable. As they were check-in machines, not polling machines, they cannot be used to cast a vote. The office is working with Cobb County police, and they’re asking voters and poll workers to identify any “irregularities” at polling locations.