Republican gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp says Georgia’s aging electronic voting machines should be replaced, coming around to a position critics say he’s resisted for eight years as the state’s top elections official. There’s just one thing – Kemp says it can’t be done in time for his own election this November. The secretary of state is asking companies for proposals to implement new machines that produce verifiable paper records in time for the next presidential election in 2020. Meanwhile, he’s dismissing experts who say the electronic machines are susceptible to hacking and that there’s no way to confirm the accuracy of their vote counts. Kemp is defending the system in place since 2002 as “accurate and secure” enough for this fall’s elections, even though it produces no paper backups that can be audited to make sure each voter’s choice is reflected in the tally.
Voting-integrity advocates have asked a federal judge to force Kemp to use a new paper-based balloting system in time for the November midterms. Attorneys for Kemp’s office responded in court this week that Georgia would be “plunged into chaos” if ordered to move that fast.
Secretary of State spokeswoman Candice Broce says the system is “accurate and secure, but we must plan for its eventual replacement.”
“There is not enough time to acquire the right inventory, train local elections officials, educate voters, and ensure the necessary safeguards to prevent chaos at the polls if a judge orders Georgia to convert to a new system virtually overnight,” her statement said.
That may be true, but only because Kemp put Georgia in this position, says Sara Henderson, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, a government watchdog group that has filed a brief supporting the lawsuit’s call for paper ballots. She said Kemp dismissed security warnings for years, only to “pull a 180 on paper ballots” as he mounts his bid for governor. Kemp faces Democrat Stacey Abrams in November.
Full Article: Georgia’s Kemp wants verifiable voting — after his race.