(APN) ATLANTA - A newly formed advocacy coalition VoterGA announced plans to sue the State of Georgia for denying the citizens of Georgia an elections system that will ensure that their votes count. The announcement was made at a downtown press conference at a hotel.
The lawsuit will be filed at 10 am on July 10, 2006, VoterGA said. The attorney for the group is Mr. Walker Chandler.
"What we're trying to do is protect the future voting rights of nine million people," Garland Favorito, one spokesperson for VoterGA, said. "All direct physical evidence of voter intent has been removed from Georgia elections."
Also, the lawsuit will not attempt to get an injunction to halt the upcoming primary election. The organization is hopeful a judge may decide to do that, though, Favorito told Atlanta Progressive News in a phone interview.
"We don't want to jeopardize the suit," Favorito said.
VoterGA ultimately wants a judge to issue an injunction that would force fair elections systems; however, they're just not specifying it needs to be next month.
"This is more of a long-term issue. Georgians are going to have to hope and pray for fair elections," until VoterGA's proposals are adopted, Chandler said.
"It's going to take expert witnesses who can explain to any court why the methods being used are not reliable," Chandler said.
VoterGA has not decided in which venue it will be filing suit, although they say the current E-Voting system in Georgia violates sections of the Georgia Constitution, State Elections Code, Equal Protections laws in Georgia and the US, and US Supreme Court rulings. All options are on the table, but they said they will most likely sue in state court.
The problem with the current E-Voting system through Diebold is that "fraud and error are undetectable," Favorito said.
"In Ohio, there was a mix of things. In our state, there was 100% electronic voting. The potential is you can have the dirtiest election in the history of this state and it would be undetectable," Mark Sawyer, of Defenders for Democracy and VoterGA, said.
"It's important in Georgia that we do not rely upon trust. Trust is not the issue. Integrity is the issue," Sawyer said.
Cox, who is now running for Governor, now says she supports a voter verifiable paper trail for electronic voting, but Diebold wants $17 million more to provide electronic voting systems that come with printers.
VoterGA raised three main changes that they want to see to restore voter confidence and elections integrity:
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