A proposal to replace Georgia’s electronic voting machines passed a subcommittee Tuesday despite concerns that the legislation doesn’t go far enough to safeguard elections. The measure calls for the state to begin using a new voting system with paper ballots in time for the 2020 presidential election. State lawmakers say the state’s all-digital election system, in use since 2002, is outdated and needs to be scrapped after tech experts exposed security vulnerabilities last year in the same type of voting machines as those used in Georgia. … Critics of the voting legislation say the touch-screen machines, which the state tested during a Conyers election in November, are vulnerable to tampering because they use bar codes for tabulation purposes. Voters wouldn’t be able to tell whether the bar codes matched the candidates they chose, which would also be printed on the ballot.
“What I want is a paper ballot that I can look at, that doesn’t have additional coding on it,” Susan Cannell, a Cobb County voter, said during testimony to the subcommittee. “There’s this layer of obscurity between what I said on my ballot and how it’s counted.”
… Marian Schneider, the president of the Verified Voting Foundation, said the legislation needs to be clarified to ensure that “human readable ballots” — not bar codes — are the official ballot. The current version of the bill could be interpreted as saying that the bar codes are official because they’re part of the paper ballot.
“A bar code is insecure because it’s generated by software,” Schneider said. “A software-created process can be altered by software. Those software-generated items should not control in the case of a discrepancy.”