s the 2016 cyber-attacks on U.S. elections continue unabated this election year, most everyone agrees that Georgia’s aging, insecure voting machines must be replaced with a new system to increase public confidence. Georgia legislators tried this spring to authorize purchase of a new system, but the flawed legislation failed. That’s a good thing. It would have made the situation worse, not better. In the wake of this failure, Secretary of State Brian Kemp formed a blue-ribbon Commission on Secure, Accessible and Fair Elections (SAFE) to study the options for Georgia’s next voting system. In short, the Secretary set up a way for Georgia to dig itself out of its election integrity hole and leapfrog to the front of the pack nationwide. At SAFE’s first meeting, Mr. Kemp sabotaged his own commission. The laudable goal of that meeting was to describe Georgia’s current system. Briefing slides are available online. Not apparent in the published material is a disturbing pattern of giving SAFE false and misleading information. If not corrected, the Commission’s recommendations will be as flawed as other efforts to fix the current system. Here are five egregious examples of such misinformation.
1.) SAFE was falsely told that current touchscreen voting machines are mandated by Georgia Law. The touchscreen “mandate” is an easily reversible administrative action of the five-member State Election Board. Here’s why it matters. These machines have been hacked repeatedly and at will. Most states subsequently abandoned them. Georgia law specifically authorizes the use of optical scanning of paper ballots, a more-secure alternative.
2. SAFE was not told that Georgia’s touchscreens violate the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA). HAVA requires a paper record of votes cast so that manual recounts can be conducted. Election Director Chris Harvey told SAFE members that electronic ballot records stored in Georgia’s voting machines are the same as paper records because a paper printout can be created. This claim would require the state to trust the validity of internally stored electronic records on hacked machines. Data stored on compromised machines must be presumed to be untrustworthy.
Full Article: Opinion: Replace Ga.’s risky touchscreen voting machines.