True the Vote Requests Special Master in Konnech Case

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

A March 14 filing from True the Vote (TTV) asked the court to appoint a special master in its lawsuit against Konnech to "take possession of, and/or to oversee the creation of mirror-image copies of the data stored on the approximately 102 electronic storage devices" currently in the custody of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The devices listed in Exhibit "A" are the property of facilities owned by Konnech, Inc. and its CEO, Eugene Wei Yu.

TTV Special Master Request/March 14, 2023

Notably, the filing also mentions "multiple other individuals and entities" who "seek to inspect the Seized Devices" in their "litigation against Konnech and/or Yu," including VoterGA and the Sheriff of Johnson County, Kansas. In December, VoterGA subpoenaed records from Konnech related to an amendment that expanded its original case. The original complaint seeks to ban the "outsourcing of private voter data (to entities like ERIC or Konnech) by a Secretary of State (SOS)."

Founder of True the Vote, Catherine Engelbrecht, discusses the outsourcing of voter data and updates on Konnech in her Locals broadcast on March 13. She states that no state needs ERIC to help keep voter rolls clean. Engelbrecht says it is "entirely doable" for states to do it themselves. States are beginning to heed that advice and are now leaving ERIC in favor of handling their own voter registration rolls.

TTV Requests Special Master to Inspect Konnech Devices

According to this latest filing, TTV seeks the appointment of a special master to prevent the "spoliation of discoverable evidence," in part because other entities now wish to inspect the devices. True the Vote alleges Konnech and Yu may have "violated state or federal laws or regulations" related to the storage of electronic data—"specifically concerning American poll workers and elections software—outside of the United States."

UncoverDC wrote a column about TTV's emergency motion to prevent data spoliation on Konnech's devices filed in February. The motion to prevent the spoliation of evidence and to preserve the data was granted on March 3. TTV alleges that Konnech may have breached private data from American election workers and that the data is allegedly being stored on servers in China. Any data stored on Chinese servers are the property of the Chinese Communist party, according to TTV.

Exhibit "D" of the filing is of particular interest because it shows a "table of jurisdictions that have employed Konnech to handle election software." Forty-one jurisdictions are listed in the table. The jurisdictions come from Konnech's DeKalb County Request for Proposal (RFP). Exhibit "D" is "exceptional," according to Engelbrecht because this lawsuit "involves many jurisdictions, including some of the largest battleground counties in the country."

Exhibit "D"/TTV/March 14, 2023 filing

Konnech contends TTV is defaming them by alleging the company "stored U.S. election data in China." Konnech also maintains that TTV may have accessed one or more of its computers "in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)." TTV believes appointing an independent special master to inspect the evidence will help address Konnech's concerns in a factual and unbiased way. A special master would also complete the inspection in an efficient and timely manner.

Due to a lack of trust between the two parties, there is great concern on the part of TTV that devices or evidence will be "damaged or destroyed, by accident or purposely." TTV believes such destruction would "severely [handicap]" TTV's case. The Plaintiff "says it has not damaged or destroyed" the evidence "yet."

TTV has already shown evidence of "tamper[ing] with witnesses and the delet[ion] of data" at Konnech's "Australian laid out in the Defendants' Motion to Inspect" in February. TTV states in the filing it is willing to share or even cover the cost of a special master to alleviate Konnech's concerns over having to "bear an unreasonable cost and to suffer an undue delay" in the case and concerning the return of their devices.

True the Vote has suggested the forensic services of Aaron Hughes to inspect the evidence. Hughes is a "qualified expert" listed in Exhibit "E" of the filing. According to the documentation, Hughes is the "founder and President of Vidoc Razor, LLC." Vidoc Razor "performs computer security and forensics services for clients throughout the U.S. He has 20 years of experience and has "provided training for attorneys and law enforcement at local and Federal levels." TTV also stated it is open to other experts who might be "willing to do the job." An itemized proposal detailing the device breakdown and associated costs for Hughes' inspection is listed in Exhibit "E." The projected cost of such an inspection will be $80,300.00.

On page 4 of the filing, TTV mentions that the dismissal by the Los Angeles County District Attorney of the criminal complaint filed by TTV against Mr. Yu is "not unusual." In fact, there is a "Speedy Trial Statute governing California state court proceedings" that may have impacted the DA's decision. TTV believes the DA may have been worried about delays because of the "enormous volume of data" seized and the "slow pace of the bureaucratic machinery" in LA County. According to the filing, the case can "be refiled once the prosecution is ready," according to the filing.

Most important, though, is that according to TTV, "[n]o court has found the underlying search warrant to have been improvidently granted. The governing presumption is that the magistrate or issuing court in California found probable cause. Nothing has changed since the warrant was issued that would alter that presumption."  True the Vote also states in the filing that its request for a special master comes now because a prior request would have been "futile, or at least suboptimal" because the "prior bench was so hostile."

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