Karen Handel’s win in the hotly contested 6th Congressional District special election should be thrown out and the contest redone, according to a new lawsuit seeking to ultimately invalidate Georgia’s aging electronic voting system. The suit, filed in Fulton County Superior Court, is the second pursued in less than two months by a Colorado-based group over the security of Georgia’s election infrastructure. The suit says those concerns include private cybersecurity researcher Logan Lamb’s finding last year that a misconfigured server at Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems — which has helped run Georgia’s elections for the past 15 years — exposed more than 6.5 million voter records and other sensitive information that opponents said could be used to alter results. The same records were accessed a second time earlier this year by another security researcher. The FBI investigated both Lamb’s and the second researcher’s probing but did not file charges, saying neither of the two had broken federal law.
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Georgia: Many Troubling, Unanswered Questions about Voting Machinery in Georgia House Runoff | Alternet
The results from Georgia’s sixth district congressional race are odd. Jon Ossoff, the Democratic newcomer who ran against Republican former Secretary of State Karen Handel, won the absentee vote 64% to 36%. That vote was conducted on paper ballots that were mailed in and scanned on optical scanners. Ossoff also won the early voting 51% to 49%. Those results closely mirror recent polls that had him ahead by 1-3 points. In the highest of those polls, he was ahead by 7% with 5% undecided and a 4% margin of error. On Election Day, Handel pulled out a whopping 16 percent lead, for a crushing 58% to 42% division of the day’s votes. That means that all 5% of the undecided voters broke for Handel, the poll was off by its farthest estimate and another 3.5% of Ossoff’s voters switched sides into her camp. All this despite Ossoff’s intensive door-to-door ground offensive that Garland Favorito, who lives in the heart of the sixth district called the “most massive operation” he’s ever seen. Favorito is the founder of VoterGA, a nonpartisan election reform group. He said Handel had signs up, but her canvassing operation didn’t approach Ossoff’s.
Millions of voters have cast their ballots in Georgia using machines that offer a now-common experience: Press the touch screen, record your choice on anything from a local mayoral race to a presidential election. It is a simple action that belies the complex system that supports it. And it is a system that is under increasing attack. Georgia’s aging election system has flaws that could be exploited if a malicious hacker ever breached it, experts say. It’s a fear that has escalated with regular news reports about alleged attempts by Russian hackers to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, an issue raised again last week by the release of a leaked National Security Agency document. … The news three months ago of a potential data breach at Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems raised alarms that for critics of Georgia’s system is still ringing.
A “rare error” with a memory card that didn’t properly upload its vote tallies caused a long delay Tuesday night as Fulton County reported election results. The issue was with a card with vote totals from the 6th congressional district, said Richard Barron, Fulton’s director of registration and elections. While no votes were compromised, the problem delayed counting for more than an hour while the card was identified and reread, Barron said. “While we’re looking for it, we can’t let any more results come through,” Barron said. “When you’re reading memory cards, if you don’t have something right, it can happen.” Barron said when the county moves to export vote totals to its website, it should get a dialog box that says “operation successful.” Instead, the result was “just a line of gobbledygook, just a line of junk, just letters,” Barron said.
Missouri: St. Louis voters can’t use touch-screen machines at Tuesday’s election | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis and St. Louis County residents who like to cast their votes on a touch-screen machine won’t find one when they go to polling places for Tuesday’s election. Election authorities say the unusually short three-week period since the March 15 presidential primary didn’t provide enough time to reprogram and test each of the touch-screen devices without major difficulty. So all voters in the city and county will have to use paper ballots and feed them into optical-scan machines. Normally both optical-scan and touch-screen methods are available across the city and county. “In theory it would have been possible to do a complete turnaround, but my staff would have been run so ragged,” said Eric Fey, Democratic director at the county Election Board. “The possibility of mistakes and the cost just begins to increase exponentially.”
Floyd County Elections Board Chairman Pete McDonald said the malfunctioning touch screen voting machine at Alto Park has been sent to the manufacturer in an attempt to access the 85 uncounted votes it holds. McDonald said Merle King at the Georgia Elections Center at Kennesaw State University reported that attempts to retrieve the election data from the memory card or from the archive memory were unsuccessful.