Six Georgia voters and a nonprofit filed a lawsuit July 3 alleging that numerous failures of the voting system caused an indeterminable outcome in the June 20 Special Election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
The Coalition for Good Governance, which is described as a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on fair and transparent elections, and the six plaintiffs allege that the security of Georgia’s touchscreen voting system was severely compromised, violated Georgia’s election code, and cannot be legally used to conduct elections. As a result, an accurate election result could not be determined for the June 20 election.
The nonprofit held a press conference Thursday morning. During the conference, Richard DeMillo, Georgia Tech computer science professor and a former Dean and Director of the Information Security Center, emphasized that the problem with voting practices in Georgia are with the machines citizens use to vote on. “Using the Direct-recording electronic voting machines is a little like sharing needles,” he said. “Poll workers are instructed to take cards with ballot and voter information and insert them into computers. Whatever was on one machine will end up on another and these machines are connected over a low bandwidth channel.”
DeMillo said Optical scan machines, which require paper ballots to be submitted to a scanner, is a better option because there is then a paper trail.
Ultimately, the group and plaintiffs claim they’re aiming to see election officials adopt best practices when it comes to voting in Georgia.
When asked what evidence the plaintiffs had that could point to inaccurate voting outcomes in the June 20 election, Marilyn Marks, Executive Director of Coalition for Good Governance said dishonest claims of security by Secretary of State Brian Kemp breaks Georgia laws.
“We’re saying there’s something way wrong. The laws require Georgia’s (voting) system to be secured and certified and not to be exposed to risks, so that is our evidence,” she said.
The suit seeks to overturn the reported results of the Special Election and to order a new election, as well as requiring Kemp to promptly re-examine the system and prohibit its use in the upcoming November municipal elections.
“In light of these and other threats to the legitimacy of elections in Georgia, voters and legislators have been asked to trust the word of officials that our votes are counted as cast. That is unacceptable for democratic voting systems. They must be transparent and verifiable,” said Donna Price, a plaintiff and a director of the citizens’ activist organization Georgians for Verified Voting.
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