Alex Sanz / AP

Georgia's Kennesaw State University's Center for Election Systems, which oversees voting machines across the state, left its servers unsecured, allowing anyone to access gigabytes of highly sensitive election material, per Politico Magazine.

Why it matters: The breach was massive and could have allowed hackers to actually interfere with the systems that calculate how Georgia records and tabulates its votes. There's no indication that Georgia's voting machines were actually tampered with, but it's shocking that an easily preventable security lapse allowed this information to become publicly available.

How it was discovered: An internet security contractor decided to scrape the center's files on a whim after he thought their website looked somewhat insecure, accidentally discovering in the process that 15 gigabytes of secure materials were publicly available.

What they found: Registration records for all Georgian voters and instructions on how to access central election servers for poll workers. Most shockingly, the files included Georgia's Global Election Management Systems (GEMS) databases, which control and tabulate the results from the state's voting machines.

What happened: That's the thing. No one can really know because Georgia's electronic voting machines don't have a paper trail. So if their GEMS files had been hacked and edited, it might just appear that the machines had been working properly with no indication that anything was wrong.

Keep an eye out: The runoff for the special election in Georgia's 6th congressional district is next week.

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:15 p.m. ET: 33,477,825 — Total deaths: 1,003,922 — Total recoveries: 23,209,109Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:15 p.m. ET: 7,176,111 — Total deaths: 205,676 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.

Mueller defends Russia investigation in rare public statement

Photo: David Hume Kennerly/GettyImages

Former special counsel Robert Mueller in a statement on Tuesday defended his team's handling of the Russia investigation after Andrew Weissmann, a former prosecutor in his office, wrote in a new book that investigators should have done more to hold President Trump accountable.

Driving the news: In the tell-all book, “Where Law Ends,” released on Tuesday, Weissman addresses what he calls the special prosecutor office's failures in its investigation.

Biden releases 2019 tax returns ahead of debate

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign released his 2019 tax returns on Tuesday, showing that he and his wife, Jill, paid nearly $300,000 in federal taxes last year.

Why it matters: The release, timed just hours before the first presidential debate, comes days after a bombshell New York Times report said that President Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017. Biden's team is hoping to make the tax contrast a sticking point during their showdown tonight.