CEO of Election Software Company Sent Poll Workers’ Data to China

The “New York Times” tried to downplay any suspicions around election software company Konnech. They wanted to portray any thoughts that there could be fraud in the 2020 election as all just “fake news” driven by conspiracy theories.  

But one day after they wrote an article about this story, the CEO of the company, Eugene You, was taken into custody under suspicion of sending data about American poll workers to communist China. 

It was on October 3 that The Times published an article written by Stuart Thompson titled, “How a Tiny Elections Company Became a Conspiracy Theory Target.” He claimed that “election deniers” were targeting Konnech, which is a Michigan election software firm with just 21 U.S. employees.

He wrote the people had made up a theory with what he called “threadbare evidence” that the company had connections with the Chinese Communist Party. He said that the idea that this company had given the Chinese government backdoor access to the personal data of around two million poll workers in the United States was simply false. 

In fact, Thompson said the whole idea was ridiculous and anyone promoting that these claims were valid was simply an “election denier” who was spinning conspiracy theories.

Just one day later, on October 4, The Times published another article from Thompson titled, “Election Software Executive Arrested on Suspicion of Theft.” He wrote that Eugene Yu, the CEO of Konnech had been arrested for exactly what the “election deniers” had been promoting. 

Talk about eating crow!

George Gascón, the Los Angeles County District Attorney, had this to say about the case, “Data breaches are an ongoing threat to our digital way of life. 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.”

A spokesperson for Konnech denied any wrongdoing in the company and said that Yu was being wrongfully detained. They said that any poll worker data that the company had was given to them by L.A. County and therefore could not be stolen. 

“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.

LA District Attorney Believes Workers Personal Information Was Criminally Mishandled

But the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said that it had reason to believe that the personal information on election workers was “criminally mishandled.” They want to extradite Yu from Michigan to Los Angeles.

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

The company was required to keep the information in the United States and only provide access to citizens and permanent residents. Instead, the company stored the data with information on 2 million poll workers on servers in the People’s Republic of China.

Eugene Yu, the arrested CEO of Konnech was born in China. He became the focus of so-called conspiracy theorists who aid the company had secret times to the Chinese Communist Party and they were supplying the Chinese government with poll workers’ information. 

Yu received threats on his life and went into hiding, according to The New York Times. His company also had ties with Allen County, Indiana, and DeKalb County in Georgia, the Times said.

On its website, Konnech indicated that it currently has 32 clients in North America.

Some “fake news” just isn’t fake after all.