ATLANTA, Ga.—Local Republicans in Atlanta were tarred last month as "election deniers" and "conspiracy theorists" for expressing concerns about Konnech, an election subcontractor with alleged Chinese links.
The DeKalb County Elections Board disregarded the concerns and finalized a contract with Konnech.
But in a stunning turn of events, the company's CEO Eugene Yu was arrested by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office earlier this week for allegedly storing the data of Los Angeles County elections workers in China in violation of its contract with the county.
Now, DeKalb County's Republican Chairwoman Marci McCarthy is requesting the county Elections Board to terminate its contract with Konnech.
"The DeKalb Board of Elections is exposing County taxpayers to extraordinary legal risk and financial liability if they cannot enforce the terms of the contract with Konnech—which guarantees that Konnech stores the data in the Continental United States in a certified Microsoft Azure hosting facility," McCarthy said in a letter to the five-member board.
"If Personal Identifiable Information (PII) belonging to election staff and poll workers has been or could be transferred to China, as alleged in California, the risk and cost of a class action lawsuit could be devastating to DeKalb County finances. This represents a clear, avoidable, and unnecessary risk to DeKalb County."
The Elections Board was assessing the situation and waiting for more information before acting, a spokesman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. The board did not respond to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.
McCarthy acknowledged that Poll Chief, Konnech's software in question, isn't used for ballots or vote tabulation.
But, she said, it provides personal information that could give whoever holds the information direct access to paid seasonal poll workers and volunteer poll watchers. Seasonal poll workers are not issued work email addresses, so the board communicates via their personal email addresses, McCarthy told The Epoch Times. She said that as she tries to fill poll watcher slots for Election Day, she is facing more and more concerns on this issue from potential volunteers.
Yu, whose company is based in East Lansing, Michigan, was arrested in the area by investigators from the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, assisted by local police from Meridian Township.
The company has a five-year, $2.9 million contract with Los Angeles County. Its website earlier Thursday said it had "thousands" of clients. But that was updated by the afternoon to read, "From Konnech's first-client partnership with the City of Detroit to the 32 clients we currently work with within North America, our Founder and President, Eugene Yu, has implemented a client-centered approach."
"We are continuing to ascertain the details of what we believe to be Mr. Yu's wrongful detention by LA County authorities," Konnech said in a statement. "Any LA County poll worker data that Konnech may have possessed was provided to it by LA County, and therefore could not have been 'stolen' as suggested."
"This investigation is concerned solely with the personal identifying information of election workers," Gascon's office said in a statement. "In this case, the alleged conduct had no impact on the tabulation of votes and did not alter election results. But security in all aspects of any election is essential so that we all have full faith in the integrity of the election process."