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GA Secy of State office announces probe of alleged hacking attempt into voter registration system

Georgia gubernatorial candidates (L-R) Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp debate during campaign, October 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by John Bazemore-Pool/Getty Images)

The office of Georgia's Secretary of State Brian Kemp – the Republican candidate for governor – has announced it is investigating a "failed attempt to hack the state's voter registration system.”

Kemp’s office also named the Georgia Democratic Party, but offered no details on why it’s included in the probe, which was reportedly opened Saturday evening.

"While we cannot comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation, I can confirm that the Democratic Party of Georgia is under investigation for possible cyber crimes," press secretary Candice Broce wrote in a news release. "We can also confirm that no personal data was breached and our system remains secure."

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI were also alerted, Broce stated.

What was the response?

The Georgia Democratic Party responded Sunday with a statement that the "scurrilous claims are 100 percent false." It also called the investigation "another example of abuse of power" by Kemp.

"This political stunt from Kemp just days before the election is yet another example of why he cannot be trusted and should not be overseeing an election in which he is also a candidate for governor," the state party's executive director, Rebecca DeHart, wrote in a statement.

During a CNN interview, Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams said the investigation is an attempt to distract voters two days before the election.

"I've heard nothing about it, and my reaction would be that this is a desperate attempt on the part of my opponent to distract people from the fact that two different federal judges found him derelict in his duties and have forced him to accept absentee ballots to be counted and those who are being held captive by the exact match system to be allowed to vote," Abrams told CNN's Jake Tapper.

"He is desperate to turn the conversation away from his failures, from his refusal to honor his commitments and from the fact that he's part of a nationwide system of voter suppression that will not work in this election because we're going to outwork him, we're going to out vote him and we're going to win," Abrams said.

What else is happening?

On Friday, a federal judge ruled that Georgia must allow more than 3,000 people to vote in Tuesday's midterm elections after they were originally barred under the state's so-called exact match law, USA Today reported.

The case was prompted by concerns that Kemp, who also heads the state's election system, was "purging voters from the rolls and a new exact match voting law was targeting minorities," the report states.

Kemp is in a tight race against Abrams who would become the first black female governor in the nation's history.

A recent poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows Kemp and Abrams "locked in a dead heat," the news outlet reported.

"The explosive 11th hour development Sunday intensified calls for Kemp to step aside as the state’s top election official even as he runs for Georgia’s top political post," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution stated."Throughout the campaign he has refused to do so."

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