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Citizens Assail GA Supreme Court Voting Decision

By       Message Garland Favorito       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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ATLANTA, GA -- October 14 - Citizen plaintiffs in a voting rights lawsuit denounced today a recent Georgia Supreme Court decision allowing the state to continue conducting elections that cannot be independently audited for accuracy. The citizens contend that the decision offered little rationale, was not based on merit, and conflicted with U.S. Supreme Court case law. Their suit challenges a specific type of unverifiable electronic voting machine used in Georgia, vulnerabilities identified in county tabulation servers as well as state procedures that removed existing audit controls and full recount capabilities when the equipment was implemented in 2002 at a cost of $54 million.

Plaintiff Mark Sawyer stated: "This decision authorizes the Secretary of State to continue pretending to conduct elections. Not one of the 100+ million actual votes that have been cast on Election Day since 2002 can be audited for correctness of vote recording. No state election official can prove that any election result ever produced by these machines is correct." Sawyer continued: "Our constitution requires that Georgia elections be by secret ballot. To meet this requirement, the state must show not only that our ballots are secret, but also that they have integrity. In fact, the court cited an Oklahoma court ruling that makes this very point. Well, the problem is, as the state's own experts admitted in deposition, Georgia's electronic system cannot detect electronic fraud. Obviously, any voting system that cannot detect fraud cannot protect the integrity of the ballot, in which case the fiction can no longer be maintained that Georgia's elections are by secret ballot. How the court did not see this is a mystery to many of us."

Plaintiff Garland Favorito explained other controversies in the ruling: "The court defied all U.S. Supreme Court case law for ballot counting and refused to apply strict scrutiny to our fundamental voting rights. It instead applied a minimal standard of scrutiny and ruled that the former Secretary had a rational basis for implementing the machines even though they did not have an independent audit trail of each vote cast as required by law. Her office was warned in advance of our needs by numerous governmental and public sources before she purchased the machines that offer no way of detecting electronic vote fraud on Election Day. The court denied our normal right to a trial on all 13 counts although we disputed 41 assertions made to the court by the Attorney General's office and cited 17 lower court conclusions that had no basis in fact."

Georgia is the only state planning to conduct 2010 elections on unverifiable voting equipment used statewide.The citizens believe that the Georgia justice system may be compromised and their attorneys are considering an appeal of Constitutional issues to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Interview Contact: Garland Favorito

Telephone: (404) 664-4044


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Garland Favorito is a co-founder of VoterGA.

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