- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

ATLANTA (AP) - An online sign-up for free credit monitoring opened Wednesday for registered voters whose personal information was released to media and political parties by the Georgia secretary of state’s office.

The services with CSID opened Wednesday, 12 days after Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced that his office would cover the estimated $1.2 million cost with reserve funds. People registered to vote as of Oct. 13 can sign up for the services through Feb. 14.

“While I am confident that every voter’s personal data is secure, these services are being offered to provide Georgia voters with peace of mind,” Kemp said in a written statement.

Voters can sign up for the service at https://www.csid.com/gasos .

A lawsuit filed in November revealed that media and political parties received 12 CDs labeled Oct. 13 containing Social Security and drivers’ license numbers and birth dates for nearly 6.2 million registered voters. Kemp has said his office destroyed or accounted for all of the discs.

A report produced by his office and released this week contained no details about that process. At least one recipient who regularly received the voter file has said he threw away the October disc, not realizing it contained sensitive information.

Kemp’s office regularly sends an updated list of all registered voters in the state to political parties and news organizations as required by Georgia law. The state sells the file to others. It is supposed to include only a voter’s name, residence, mailing address, race, gender, registration date and last voting date.

The report from Kemp’s office faulted an employee in the office’s Information Technology Division for violating policies and procedures, being unclear with a contractor and giving another employee his login to access a file containing voters’ information.

The employee, Gary Cooley, was fired Nov. 17. He has said the report contained “a number of untrue statements.”

Kemp has hired the Deloitte consulting firm to audit his office’s technology operations, costing $395,000.

Gov. Nathan Deal this week also appointed three private-practice lawyers as special attorneys general representing Kemp in the lawsuit filed by two Georgia voters. No cost estimate was provided.

Deal’s executive order said Attorney General Sam Olens and the Georgia Department of Law declined to represent Kemp “due to the potential conflict of interest.” A spokesman for Olens said the office’s consumer protection responsibilities could cause a conflict.

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Online: https://www.csid.com/gasos

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