In the early evening, the state Democratic Party in Georgia released what it said were the email exchanges Ms. Broce was referring to. They appeared to be rooted in efforts to find troubling weaknesses in Georgia’s election system.
In the first email, a man named Richard Wright, who Democrats say is not affiliated with the party, writes to Ms. Small, whom officials identified as a Democratic Party volunteer.
In the email, Mr. Wright describes how “any file on the system” on a Georgia voter information page can be accessed through a place on the site meant for downloading sample ballots and poll cards. He also shows how an online voter registration site can be used to “download anyones[sic] data.”
The Democratic Party statement says that Ms. Small forwarded that email to Ms. Ghazal. The party said that it was “abundantly clear” that Ms. Small did not attempt to manipulate the site.
“The Kemp campaign has no case and must immediately retract their defamatory accusations,” the Democratic statement said….
The announcement by the secretary of state’s office was a distinctly odd one. Usually investigations begin by determining if there was a cyber intrusion or an action taken by an attacker to bring down networks or wipe out information, or whether data was changed or stolen. Only then would investigators turn to gathering forensic evidence on who might have conducted an attack — a foreign government, a political rival, maybe a group of teenagers.
Mr. Kemp has made similar accusations of vote hacking in the past. In December 2016, he accused the Department of Homeland Security of hacking into Georgia’s voter registration records, as well as the Georgia secretary of state’s computer systems. An independent investigation by the department’s inspector general, which operates independently from the department’s chain of command, found that the activity Mr. Kemp believed was suspicious was, in fact, normal behavior between computer systems.