When Georgia voters cast their ballots this fall, some will wonder whether the state’s outdated touchscreen voting machines are safe and accurate. Election officials say voters have nothing to fear, but election integrity advocates say there’s good reason to worry. Electronic voting machines could be hacked if someone got around security measures. There’s no paper backup. And a state election computer exposed voting information online for months. Even a federal judge said this week that there’s a “mounting tide of evidence” the state’s digital voting system is at risk. Can Georgians trust their votes will be counted in the election for governor between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp? Skeptics say they’ve lost faith in the system and in Kemp’s ability to oversee it while running for higher office. Kemp and election officials are trying to reassure voters that the election system hasn’t been compromised, and that voting is safe and accurate.
“It’s not trustworthy at all,” said Dana Bowers, a voter who organized an online petition with more than 4,800 signatures calling for the state to switch to paper ballots. The State Election Board rejected the petition last week. “You can’t verify your own vote, and you don’t know if your vote even makes it through to be counted.”
Georgia was the first state in the nation to move to electronic voting machines in 2002, when it was touted as a superior technology in the wake of problems counting Florida’s punch-card ballots with hanging chads during the 2000 presidential election.
Now Georgia is one of the last to continue to rely on them. Just four other states — Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina — use electronic voting machines statewide without a verifiable paper record. As in Georgia, those states are facing fierce debates over election security as lawmakers consider whether to move to paper ballots.
Full Article: Hacking fears fuel mistrust of Georgia voting machines.