Thieves Swipe Georgia's Statewide Voter Data

They 'stole a whole lot more than they thought' when they made off with computers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2019 1:26 AM CDT
Computers With Details of Every Voter in Georgia Stolen
Voters cast their ballots at a polling site in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Thieves have made off with computers containing the details of every voter in Georgia—but it's not clear if they know what they have. Officials say the password-protected computers, containing the names, addresses, birthdates, and driver’s license information of every state voter, were taken in a break-in Monday night at Grove Park Recreation Center in west Atlanta, the Hill reports. The computers, which were taken ahead of a city school board special election, are used to check voters in. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says the thieves, who also ransacked the building's kitchen, "stole a whole lot more than they thought" and are "in a whole lot of trouble."

Authorities say the polling computers, which were taken from a sealed case, do not connect to the Internet and cannot be used for other purposes. "I'm sure whoever took them had no idea what was in that case," Richard Barron, the Fulton County elections director, tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "A Palm Pilot from 2000 is probably more sophisticated than those things. They're pretty primitive pieces of equipment." The state's entire voting system, which was introduced in 2002, is due to be replaced before presidential primaries in March. Barron says voting went ahead without any problems at the location where the machines were stolen—but voting at the Southwest Arts Center was delayed because of a 2-foot snake near the front door. (More Georgia stories.)

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