Judging strictly by how the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University is described on its official website, everything is peachy when it comes to the fact that the center is charged by the Secretary of State with ensuring the integrity voting systems throughout Georgia. “The Center maintains an arms-length working relationship with the Secretary of State and the vendor, ensuring both independence and objectivity in its work,” the center states on its website. But if you ask Marilyn R. Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, a university has no business playing such a critical role in the oversight of a state’s election infrastructure. It’s an argument that Marks says is underscored by the fact that voter data in Georgia was exposed on the Internet for a significant period of time leading up to key elections in Georgia — a fact uncovered by a cybersecurity expert named Logan Lamb, who reported it to the center. KSU only took action when a second cybersecurity expert — Chris Grayson — found the same security gaps and reported them to Andrew Green, a colleague and KSU faculty member who lectures on information security and assurance, according to lawsuit filed by Marks’ coalition.
Just days after Marks’ coalition filed the lawsuit against the Center for Election Systems at KSU and other parties accused the center of “misconduct, negligence, abuse of discretion,” technicians at the center wiped the election server clean.
“For me, the issue that comes up about the rightful role or not of the university is here we have a university — employees and officials — who are suddenly faced with the knowledge that a very political thing is happening, the presidential election and, of course, all the down-ballot races,” Marks said.
“They know the system is compromised and they’re put in the position of trying to cover it up,” Marks said. “That is no role for a school administration to be in.”
… Susan Greenhalgh, vice president of programs Verified Voting — a nonprofit that advocates for “accuracy, transparency and verifiability of elections” — said Georgia should have relied on paper ballots instead of DRE machines that have long ago been scrapped in other jurisdictions because of their vulnerabilities.