New York Times reporter Stuart A. Thompson labeled the story a far-right “conspiracy theory” involving a Michigan company whose software was used in the 2020 presidential election.
The following day, Thompson reported significant elements of the conspiracy theory were indeed true.
Here’s Thompson’s first story, published Monday:
At an invitation-only conference in August at a secret location southeast of Phoenix, a group of election deniers unspooled a new conspiracy theory about the 2020 presidential outcome.
Using threadbare evidence, or none at all, the group suggested that a small American election software company, Konnech, had secret ties to the Chinese Communist Party and had given the Chinese government backdoor access to personal data about two million poll workers in the United States, according to online accounts from several people at the conference.
One day later, the Los Angles County DA announced the arrest of Konnech’s CEO.
“Under its $2.9 million, five-year contract with the county, Konnech was supposed to securely maintain the data and that only United States citizens and permanent residents have access to it,” the Los Angeles County DA’s office said in a statement.
“District Attorney investigators found that in contradiction to the contract, information was stored on servers in the People’s Republic of China,” it said.
So on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, Thompson had to publish this story:
The top executive of an elections technology company that has been the focus of attention among election deniers was arrested by Los Angeles County officials in connection with an investigation into the possible theft of personal information about poll workers, the county said on Tuesday.
Eugene Yu, the founder and chief executive of Konnech, the technology company, was taken into custody on suspicion of theft, the Los Angeles County district attorney, George Gascón, said in a statement.
Konnech, which is based in Michigan, develops software to manage election logistics, like scheduling poll workers. Los Angeles County is among its customers.
The company has been accused by groups challenging the validity of the 2020 presidential election with storing information about poll workers on servers in China. The company has repeatedly denied keeping data outside the United States, including in recent statements to The New York Times.
Mr. Gascón’s office said its investigators had found data stored in China. Holding the data there would violate Konnech’s contract with the county.
It remains to be seen whether Chinese Communist agents did anything nefarious with the data that Konnech was allegedly illegal storing in the country, and there’s no indication that Konnech’s alleged breach of contract had any bearing on the outcome of the 2020 election.
But one thing’s for sure: We’re all very excited to see what conspiracy theory the New York Times will sniff out next.