Georgia voters may find out by month’s end whether they’ll be going back to paper ballots in a November election with one of the nation’s most closely watched gubernatorial races. A good-government group claims in a lawsuit that the state’s electronic-voting system is at such risk of Russian-style interference that the Republican-led state is violating residents’ constitutional rights by failing to fix the problem. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, has scheduled a hearing for Sept. 12 in Atlanta and said she’ll issue an opinion within two weeks on the group’s request for a paper ballot. Georgia’s election databases and 27,000 touchscreen voting machines could be hacked to erase valid registrations, add fake voters and even switch votes to decide which candidate wins, the group said in the lawsuit. And the state is an inviting target, they say, because its machines are easy to hack and the state has a large number of registered voters — about 7 million.
“Georgia’s voting system is a catastrophically open invitation to malicious actors intent on disrupting our democracy,” the group claims.
Georgia is balking at the group’s proposal to replace the current system with paper ballots in all 159 counties before Nov. 6. Secretary of State Brian Kemp said in a recent court filing that the group’s worries are based on “paranoia” and the speculation of “so-called” experts.