Georgia: Havoc Raises New Doubts on Pricey ImageCast X Voting Machines | Nick Corasaniti and Stephanie Saul/The New York Times
As Georgia elections officials prepared to roll out an over $100 million high-tech voting system last year, good-government groups, a federal judge and election-security experts warned of its perils. The new system, they argued, was too convoluted, too expensive, too big — and was still insecure. They said the state would regret purchasing the machines. On Tuesday, that admonition appeared prescient. A cascade of problems caused block-long lines across Georgia, as primary voters stood for hours while poll workers waited for equipment to be delivered or struggled to activate the system’s components. Locations ran out of provisional ballots. Many people, seeing no possible option to exercise their right to vote, simply left the lines. With partisans on both sides hurling blame for the meltdown, elections experts said there were too many moving parts to place the onus for Georgia’s election chaos on any single one. “The problem seems to have been a perfect storm (overused metaphor, but apt here) of new equipment, hasty training and a crush of tasks associated with both getting the mail ballots out the door and processed AND with running an in-person voting operation,” Charles Stewart III, a political scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote in an email.