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Georgia: Voters raise concerns about new voting system to state board | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Voters told Georgia’s election board Wednesday they’re deeply worried about the security and accuracy of the state’s new voting system and they urged the board to enact strong rules that ensure vote counts are correct.
The Secretary of State’s office announced it has started creating standards for recounts, audits and security of paper ballots that will be printed out by voting machines, which are scheduled to be used by Georgia voters statewide during the March 24 presidential primary.The 10 voters who spoke to the State Election Board, which is responsible for making election rules and investigating violations, said they distrust the $107 million voting system that Georgia bought from Denver-based Dominion this month. They doubted that computer-printed ballots will safeguard elections.“If a voter cannot recall every race and choice, she cannot identify whether the machine printout accurately reflects her intentions, or instead added, dropped or changed one of her choices,” said Rhonda Martin, a Fulton County voter. “No valid audit can be conducted on the basis of unverifiable source documents.”

Full Article: Voters ask Georgia election board to protect elections.

Georgia: Voters challenge legality of new election system | Kate Brumback/Associated Press

Georgia voters who want hand-marked paper ballots are challenging the new election system state officials are rushing to implement in time for next year’s presidential primaries, saying the new touchscreen machines remain vulnerable and their results unverifiable, even though they produce paper records. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the state’s purchase of a $106 million election system from Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems last month, with plans to replace the outdated election management system and paperless touchscreen voting machines in use since 2002. He then certified the new system on Aug. 9, and said it will be in place in time for the March 24 primaries. The voters’ petition, seeking a withdrawal of the certification and a re-examination of the Dominion system, was submitted Monday to Raffensperger’s office. It says the system doesn’t meet Georgia’s voting system certification requirements and doesn’t comply with the state election code. Georgia law allows voters to request that the secretary of state “reexamine any such device previously examined and approved by him or her” as long as at least 10 voters sign onto the request. The petition submitted Monday includes signatures of more than 1,450 registered voters from 100 counties, including some elected officials, and was filed by voting integrity advocates and the state Libertarian Party. Additionally, some of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the state’s outdated voting system filed an amended complaint on Friday asking U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg to prohibit the state from using the new Dominion system, calling it “illegal and unreliable.”

Full Article: Georgia voters challenge legality of new election system.

Georgia: Lawsuit says new Georgia voting system should be stopped | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Voters who want paper ballots filled out by hand asked a federal judge late Friday to prevent Georgia from using the $107 million voting system the state just bought. The request comes a day after the judge ruled that voters must use some type of paper ballots next year, but her decision didn’t address the legality of the state’s new voting system.Election officials plan to replace Georgia’s 17-year-old electronic voting machines with a system that combines touchscreens with paper ballots. Voters will pick their candidates on a 21.5-inch tablet that’s connected to a ballot printer starting with the March 24 presidential primary.The lawsuit, filed by voters and election integrity advocates, alleges the new voting machines will remain vulnerable to hacking, malware, bugs and misconfiguration.But state election officials have said that paper ballots will ensure the accuracy of results during recounts and audits.In addition, the lawsuit said the printed ballots aren’t truly verifiable. Although voters will be able to review ballots before casting them, the ballots embed voters’ choices in bar codes that are only readable by scanning machines.“No elector can visually review and confirm whether the bar code accurately conveys their intended selections,” according to the amended complaint.

Full Article: Lawsuit says new Georgia voting system should be stopped..

Georgia: Judge Says Georgia To Use Old Electronic Voting Machines For 2019 Elections | Stephen Fowler/NPR

A federal judge has denied a request to move all of this fall’s municipal elections in Georgia away from “unsecure, unreliable and grossly outdated technology” and toward hand-marked paper ballots that are optically scanned and counted. The order from U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg Thursday also requires the state to cease using its direct-recording electronic voting machines after 2019 and expresses doubts about the state’s ability to roll out its new ballot-marking device system in time for the March 24, 2020, presidential primary election. In the decision, Totenberg also directs the Georgia secretary of state’s office to develop a plan to “address errors and discrepancies in the voter registration database” and have paper copies of poll books at each voting precinct. The state must also create a contingency plan for the 2020 elections in case the new system is not completely rolled out. That includes designating several pilot jurisdictions that will use hand-marked paper ballots with optical scanners in their elections this fall. A group of election integrity advocates and Georgia voters sued the secretary of state’s office in 2017 alleging that the current DRE system is not secure and is vulnerable to hacking. Last year, Totenberg denied a similar motion for preliminary injunction that would have blocked the DREs from being used in the 2018 midterm election. The current motion sought to prevent the machines from being used this fall in several hundred local elections.

Full Article: Judge Says Georgia To Use Old Electronic Voting Machines For 2019 Elections : NPR.

Georgia: Judge denies paper ballots in Georgia this year but requires them in 2020 | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Georgia voters can cast ballots on the state’s “unsecure, unreliable and grossly outdated” electronic voting machines one last time, deciding it would be too disruptive to switch to paper ballots before this fall’s elections. But starting with next year’s presidential primary election, paper ballots will be required, according to the ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg. Her order barred the state from using its current electronic voting machines after this year’s elections.Election officials are already planning to upgrade the state’s voting system by buying $107 million in new equipment that will use a combination of touchscreens and printed-out paper ballots to check the accuracy of election results.If the state’s new voting system isn’t completely rolled out to all 159 counties in time for the March 24 presidential primary, Totenberg ruled that voters must use paper ballots filled out by hand. “Georgia’s current voting equipment, software, election and voter databases are antiquated, seriously flawed and vulnerable to failure, breach, contamination and attack,” Totenberg wrote. Totenberg wrote it would be “unwise” to immediately discard the state’s 17-year-old voting machines, which lack paper ballots that could be used to check the accuracy of election results. She wrote that it could be “a recipe for disaster” to force resistant election officials to switch to hand-marked paper ballots this year while they’re also transitioning to the state’s new voting system. Her 153-page ruling clears the way for 386 local elections to move forward as planned this fall, including votes for the Atlanta school board, the Fulton County Commission and city councils across the state.

Full Article: Judge rules against immediate switch to paper ballots in Georgia.

Georgia: Test results for Georgia new voting system released | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s new voting system passed equipment tests by a company hired to evaluate it for the state. The certification test results, released Monday, indicated that touchscreens, election computers, ballot scanners and other machinery can handle the stresses of an election.The tests identified one issue, when a ballot scanner suffered a “memory lockup” after reading 4,500 ballots. The problem was resolved by restarting the scanner.The testing by Pro V&V evaluated the voting equipment’s functionality. It didn’t grade the security of the $107 million voting system by Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems. Starting with the presidential primary on March 24, all Georgia voters will use touchscreens attached to printers that produce paper ballots. Voters will then be able to review their ballots before inserting them into optical scanners for tabulation. Ballots will be stored for audits and recounts. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger issued his certification that the Dominion system is reliable and accurate on Friday after receiving the Pro V&V test results.

Full Article: Test results for Georgia new voting system released.

Georgia: New Georgia voting system certified by secretary of state | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified that Georgia’s new voting system is reliable and accurate Friday as state officials finalized a $107 million contract with Dominion Voting Systems. The certification of the new voting system, which combines touchscreens and paper ballots, was required before it could be used in Georgia elections. The state had announced last week that Dominion won the state’s voting contract, before certification testing had been completed.Raffensperger found that the Dominion system “has been thoroughly examined and tested,” according to his certification, filed in federal court Friday.His office didn’t release the results of certification testing Friday, which was conducted by a Huntsville, Ala.-based company called Pro V&V. But state rules give the secretary of state broad discretion to certify the voting system.

Full Article: New Georgia voting system certified by secretary of state.

Georgia: New voting machines certified by the state | Kate Brumback/Associated Press

Georgia’s secretary of state certified new touchscreen voting machines as election-safe in court documents Friday, bidding to put behind the acrimonious 2018 electoral season marred by reports of malfunctioning voting equipment, hourslong wait times and criticism that the state’s outdated machines were vulnerable to hacking. Republican Brad Raffensperger’s office formally awarded a $106 million contract to a Denver-based company, Dominion Voting Systems, for machines it said met state law for election security after neither losing vendor challenged Dominion’s winning bid. The developments came in court documents filed by attorneys defending state election officials against a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s current voting system and seeking statewide use of hand-marked paper ballots.

Full Article: Georgia's new voting machines certified by the state.

Georgia: Georgia awards voting contract before testing finished | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s new voting machines haven’t yet passed state tests of their accuracy, reliability and security, a required step before they can be used in elections. The testing of Dominion Voting System’s equipment is expected to be completed soon, said Georgia Secretary of State spokeswoman Tess Hammock on Monday. Dominion’s voting system, which combines touchscreen voting machines and paper ballots, already received federal certification in January.Until the state’s own tests are completed, it’s unknown whether there are any potential problems with Georgia’s new voting system that need to be corrected.Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced last week that Dominion won a $107 million contract to provide voting equipment to the state’s 7 million registered voters. State rules require voting systems to complete testing and be certified by the secretary of state before they can be put into service.

Full Article: Georgia awards voting contract before testing finished..

Georgia: Threats to Georgia elections loom despite new paper ballot voting | Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia was the first state in the nation to move to electronic voting machines 17 years ago, and it will be one of the last to adopt paper ballots that voters can check before they’re cast. The selection this week of a $107 million electronic voting system that combines familiar touchscreen machines with paper ballots was a big step for a state that continues to face criticism and legal challenges over its handling of the 2018 election. But critics say the system will still be vulnerable to hacking, and getting the machines ready in time for the statewide presidential primary in March won’t be easy.When the new system is installed, Georgia will be the first state in the nation to switch entirely to this kind of hybrid paper-and-tech way of conducting elections. Dominion Voting Systems will replace the state’s old Diebold electronic voting machines, which lack a paper trail for audits and recounts. The new touchscreens will be attached to printers that spit out ballots. Voters can then review their choices before inserting their paper ballots into scanning machines that will record their choices.

Full Article: Will new Georgia voting system prevent election vulnerabilities?.

Georgia: Georgia awards contract for new voting machines to Dominion | Maggie Miller/The Hill

Georgia awarded a $150 million contract to voting equipment manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems to implement a “verified paper ballot system” in the state prior to the March 2020 presidential primaries, the Georgia Secretary of State’s office announced Monday. This will involve replacing current voting machines in Georgia with machines from Dominion that print a paper ballot after the voter has made their choices to further secure the vote against outside interference.  Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a statement that “elections security is my top priority,” adding that “we look forward to working with national and local elections security experts to institute best practices and continue to safeguard all aspects of physical and cyber-security in an ever-changing threat environment.”

Full Article: Georgia awards contract for new voting machines | TheHill.

Nevada: State aims to avoid software, human errors in general election | Las Vegas Review-Journal

With new voting machines and millions of dollars in new funding for enhanced security, Nevada officials had hoped for hiccup-free elections this year. But hiccups were exactly what they got. The combination of problematic new software and human error allowed up to 43 Clark County voters to cast two ballots in the June 12 primary. Six of those people, it was revealed last week, are being investigated by the state for potential voter fraud. Two of those being investigated are Republican, two are Democrat, and two are independents, Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said. The Nevada secretary of state’s office confirmed that an investigation has been launched, but did not provide details.

Full Article: Nevada aims to avoid software, human errors in general election – Las Vegas Review-Journal.