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Georgia election server had crucial files deleted days after lawsuit

A server containing information critical to a lawsuit was wiped. Officials blame "ineptitude."

Democratic Congressional Candidate For Georgia's 6th District Jon Ossoff Campaigns Ahead Of Tuesday's Special Election
Atlanta voters cast their ballots at a polling place in June's special election.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

On July 3, a lawsuit was filed in Georgia by a group of election reform advocates who wanted the state to reform its ancient voting technology.

Four days later, a server crucial to the lawsuit was wiped clean. 

The data was erased by technicians at the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University, which runs the state's election system. According to the Associated Press, it's not clear who ordered the wipe. 

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the suit's main defendant, oversees the Center. Asked for comment by CNET, a spokesman in Kemp's office pointed to a statement on Kemp's Facebook page. 

The Secretary of State's office had no involvement in this decision, and we would never direct someone to take such...

Posted by Brian Kemp on Thursday, October 26, 2017

"Despite the undeniable ineptitude at KSU's Center for Elections Systems," it reads, "Georgia's elections are safe and our systems remain secure."

Emails revealing the wipe also disclosed that two backup servers were also deleted on Aug. 9, just after the lawsuit moved to court.

The lawsuit is aimed at Georgia's 27,000 AccuVote touchscreen voting machines, which don't use paper ballots or keep proof of the intent of voters. The suit's plaintiffs wanted an independent review of the Kennesaw server, which contained key statewide election data, to show that the system was unreliable.