Breaking: Detroit Terminates Contract with Election Software Company Konnech After CEO with Ties to China Is Arrested for Poll Worker Data Theft
Konnech CEO Eugene Yu was arrested on Tuesday in Michigan in connection with “theft of personal data” The alleged stolen data belonged to poll workers and was the subject of TrueTheVote’s “PIT” in Arizona last August, where Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips singled out the company.
During the PIT in August, Phillips and Engelbrecht had alleged they were cooperating with the FBI in Michigan about data being sent overseas by this company. The investigation quickly started to turn on them after the FBI started to distance itself from the investigation.
Journalist “incognito” Kanekoa has covered this company and researched them better than anyone.
Here is the link to the LA County website.
The theft of data only impacted the election workers, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon. The LADA seized hard drives and other digital evidence from the Michigan software firm with the assistance of Meridian Township Police in MI. The LADA is seeking Yu’s extradition to Los Angeles.
Following the CEO’s arrest Fairfax County in Virginia announced they have stopped using Konnech’s PollChief election officer management software.
And now Detroit has terminated its contract with Konnech following its founder’s arrest.
Detroit has terminated its contract with an Okemos-based election software company after its founder was taken into custody on suspicion of poll worker data theft in California. The company had worked with the city since 2008 on various poll management and logistics systems over the course of several elections.
On Wednesday, Eugene Yu, the chief executive of Konnech, was arrested as part of a Los Angeles County-based investigation. Konnech had a five-year, $2.9 million contract with the county to administer poll worker assignments, communications and payroll. LA County prosecutors found that Konnech was storing information in China in violation of the agreement.
“Data breaches are an ongoing threat to our digital way of life,” LA District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “When we entrust a company to hold our confidential data, they must be willing and able to protect our personal identifying information from theft. Otherwise, we are all victims.”
Detroit had a similar contract with Konnech for the use of its PollChief software, which is said to have the ability to send mass letters, emails and phone calls to polling locations and record responses of election workers. The $320,000 contract, approved last year by Detroit City Council, was set to expire in June 2024. According to city and federal records, Konnech had worked with the city on several specific applications for more than a decade, including ballot “fast scanning” software and a mobile app for Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) returned ballots.
Following news of Yu’s arrest, Detroit terminated its current contract with Konnech. In a statement, City Clerk Janice Winfrey upheld the integrity of Detroit’s election process and the security of employee information.