Democratic Rep Suggests Georgia Election Was 'Stolen' From Ossoff

Hank Johnson (D-GA) poses for a picture during a break in his orientation class on Capitol Hill November 13, 2006 in Washington DC. The 110th Congress will be sworn in January 2007 when Congress reconvenes. / Getty Images
Hank Johnson (D., Ga.) / Getty Images
October 31, 2017

Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson (Ga.) said Monday that he believes the special congressional election in Georgia's sixth district earlier this year might have been rigged against Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff.

Ossoff faced off against Republican Karen Handel in the Georgia race to replace the seat vacated by then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.

Ossoff only earned 48.1 percent of the vote in April, sending the race to a runoff with Handel. In the June runoff, Handel won the race with 51.78 percent of the vote.

But Johnson, a Georgia congressman and Ossoff's former employer, said he found it suspicious that the initial runoff was lost by "a difference of about 3,200 votes."

"I think it's quite possible that Jon Ossoff won that election and the election was stolen from him. That's my suspicion," he told Atlanta's WXIA.

Johnson pointed fingers at Kennesaw State University, whose Center for Election Systems runs the electronic voting system used in Georgia. A month after the June runoff, one of the KSU hard drives was wiped clean for reuse.

But in a statement to WXIA, the university said it only wiped the hard drive after turning it over to the FBI and being told the agency made a copy.

"In March 2017, a Center for Election Systems' server involved in an alleged data breach was turned over to the FBI. While the server was in the possession of the Bureau, a forensic image or copy of all the data on the server was made and held by the agency," the statement read.

The university explained that after the FBI ruled out a data breach, the hard drive "was designated to be repurposed, and the drives on the server were erased and the server made available for alternative uses."