Voters in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District will continue to cast ballots on electronic machines after a Fulton County judge dismissed a lawsuit trying to force the use of paper ballots. Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams’ ruling late Friday night came after an eight-hour hearing earlier this week over the suit’s insistence that Georgia’s reliance on voting machines was endangering the vote. The machines, it said, are too old, unreliable and vulnerable to malicious cyber attacks without a forensic review to verify they had not been compromised. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp celebrated Adams’ decision, which came two weeks into the state’s mandatory three-week early voting period for the nationally watched June 20 runoff between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff.
… Georgia uses touch-screen direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines. The state committed to the machines in 2002 when it last overhauled its elections system. At the same time, it eliminated a paper trail of recorded votes. Cybersecurity experts who testified at the hearing said one way Georgia could mitigate concerns about the machines is by having some sort of paper trail that voters could verify as being correct.
Adams’ in her nine-page decision did not specifically say the machines were safe or accurate, but among a number of legal factors said “in the absence of evidence” that the machines had widely malfunctioned or skewed results, “this court cannot adopt plaintiffs’ conclusion that Georgia’s DRE voting equipment and its related voting system are unsafe, inaccurate and impracticable within the meaning” of state law. In other words, Adams said, the plaintiffs “have failed to demonstrate any concrete harm.”