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General News    H2'ed 4/23/17

Experts Offer SOS Immediate GA6 Verifiable Election Help

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Message Garland Favorito

Electronic Voting: is it really counting your vote? The way you intended it to?
Electronic Voting: is it really counting your vote? The way you intended it to?
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6 th District Special Election Bulletin 1 Contact: Garland Favorito

April 21, 2017 (404) 664-4044

Experts Offer SOS Immediate GA6 Verifiable Election Help

ATLANTA GA -- 20 computer experts from around the country and beyond have written to Georgia Secretary of State (SOS) Brian Kemp to offer their assistance in urging him to move immediately to verifiable elections. The experts requested answers to several questions about aMarch 1 breach of a voting database at Kennesaw State University's (KSU) Center for Elections (CES). They also cited the national attention on the 6th Congressional District special election as reasons to implement statewide verifiable voting immediately. The list of signees include computer science professors from Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Michigan, Georgia Tech along with a former President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world's largest educational and scientific computing society.

Their March 15, 2017 letter that was published by Verified Voting has already proved prophetic. On April 15, four electronic poll books were stolen from the vehicle of a Cobb County poll manager. On Tuesday, election night reporting for the 6th Congressional District special election was delayed for hours. Redundant databases and procedures were needed to accommodate legal election schedules. Server software did not detect an incorrect voting card when it was loaded. Some interim election results appear to have been backed out late and leader Jon Ossoff's vote totals dipped below 50% afterwards thus causing a runoff.

Georgia has no voter verified paper ballot that can be used to audit the results of any election. Statewide unverifiable voting was implemented in 2002 by former Secretary of State Cathy Cox even though the law at the time required that any voting machine evaluated have an independent audit trail for each vote cast.

[O.C.G.A . 21-2-301(b) - 2001]

Ironically, current 6th District candidate Karen Handel produced a 2006 report that explained how the voting equipment, audit procedures and ballot recording must be changed. However, after being elected SOS, she reversed her position while receiving $25,000 in donations from family members and partners of the voting machine vendor lobbyist, Massey Bowers LLC. Current SOS Brian Kemp has been unwilling to address the problem and has not responded to the experts' letter even though the 15-year old voting machines are far beyond their 10-year useful life.

The national experts' letter reiterates identical calls for verifiable voting made by local organizations such as VoterGa since its inception. It also confirms opinions of local computer professionals including this Voter Ga founder who challenged adoption of unverifiable voting before machines were purchased.

Bulletin 1 PDF

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Garland Favorito is a co-founder of VoterGA.
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