Johnson County switching election worker management system after workers’ records were accessed without county approval

Published: Oct. 22, 2022 at 7:44 AM CDT
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. (KCTV) - Johnson County said it would transfer the PollChief election worker management system from Konnech to servers under Johnson County Government’s exclusive control on Friday. The move comes after Konnech allowed unauthorized access of data to a third-party vendor.

The county made the announcement Friday, citing the need for an “extra layer of security at the local level to prevent unauthorized access to the software and our data.”

In a release, Johnson County said there was no evidence of malicious activity, but that Konnech provided a third-party vendor access to PollChief for software development and technical support. That data included access to Johnson County election workers’ records.

The county said less than 10 percent -- or approximately 825 out of 9,800 -- workers driver’s license numbers were exposed. A driver’s license number is considered a personal identifying information under Kansas statute.

Individuals whose driver’s license number was exposed to the unauthorized third-party will be contacted by the county.

Johnson County said it began assessing potential risk to its election worker management system when Konnech CEO Eugene Yu was arrested as part of a Los Angeles County investigation involving the PollChief software. On Oct. 13, Yu was charged with criminal acts in Los Angeles County. His company is accused of sending personal identifying information of L.A. County election workers to non-U.S. based third-party contractors.

PollChief is not and has never been connected to the county’s voting machines or any vote tabulation, Johnson County reiterated during a release Friday. The company’s system is an election worker management and administration system only.

“We continue to focus on the security of our voting systems and stand by the integrity of Johnson County elections,” the county said Friday.