As Republican and Democratic state legislators hustle to pass a law moving Georgia toward paper ballot voting technology, election integrity advocates said they’re concerned a bill that already cleared the state Senate could lead to a new vulnerability in Georgia’s next voting system, if it becomes law. One way a new system might work is through a touchscreen computer similar to those currently used in Georgia. It would print a paper ballot with a visual representation of a voter’s choices so they themselves can check for accuracy. In some systems, counting the votes means scanning an entire image of the ballot that may include a timestamp and precinct information. In other systems, barcodes or QR codes on a ballot would correspond with the voter’s choices, which can make counting easier and faster for election officials, said Peter Lichtenheld, vice president of operations with Hart Intercivic, one of several election technology companies that hired lobbyists at the statehouse this year.
… “If you’re just using software to check software, there’s the possibility if there is some kind of problem with the software, you’re not going to catch it,” said Larry Norden, deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s democracy program at New York University.
“You really do need a human process for checking the software process, and, potentially the way this is written, you won’t have that human process,” said Norden, who has reviewed the current version of SB 403.
Norden suggests the bill be amended to require a process for audits in which the voter-verified portion, or, as he puts it, the “human readable” portion of the ballot is reviewed.