Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office denies relationship with Konnech

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB/AP) - A North Central Florida supervisor of elections office is trying to dispel “misinformation” about it’s relationship to an elections software company under investigation for illegally sending data to China.

According to the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office, the organization does not currently use Konnech or any of its software or products. The elections office used PollChief, which is affiliated with Konnech, to track the inventory of election assets but that contract was ended in 2017.

Officials say the office never used any of the company’s software for anything involving election workers or voting.

The elections office received some calls and comments on social media suggesting they currently use Konnech’s software, which officials say is untrue. They were also informed about posts on the platform Nextdoor making similar allegations.

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Konnech is facing scrutiny after the company’s founder and CEO Eugene Yu, 51, was arrested last week Meridian Township in Michigan on suspicion of theft of personal identifying information. Investigators also seized computer hard drives from the company.

The arrest is related to an investigation in Los Angeles County. Yu is accused of stealing data on hundreds of Los Angeles County poll workers.

Konnech was required to keep the data in the United States and only provide access to citizens and permanent residents but instead stored it on servers in the People’s Republic of China, the DA’s office said.

The DA’s office didn’t specify what specific information allegedly was taken. But officials said it only involved poll workers, not voting machines or vote counts and didn’t alter election results.

Local prosecutors will seek his extradition to California.

“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 that ended: “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.”

Konnech is a small company based in East Lansing, Michigan. In 2020, it won a five-year, $2.9 million contract with LA County for software to track election worker schedules, training, payroll, and communications, according to the county registrar-recorder/county clerk, Dean C. Logan.

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