ATLANTA (AP) — A group of pc and election protection authorities is urging Georgia election officials to exchange the state’s touchscreen voting equipment with hand-marked paper ballots ahead of the November midterm elections, citing what they say are “serious threats” posed by an clear breach of voting devices in just one county.
The 13 gurus on Thursday sent a letter to the associates of the State Election Board and to Secretary of Point out Brad Raffensperger, who’s a non-voting member of the board. It urges them to straight away end applying the state’s Dominion Voting Methods touchscreen voting devices. It also suggests they mandate a individual type of submit-election audit on the consequence of all races on the ballot.
The industry experts who despatched the letter involve lecturers and former point out election officers and are not affiliated with endeavours by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the benefits of the 2020 presidential election.
The midterm elections are just two months absent. A swap to hand-marked paper ballots could quickly be produced by then simply because state law currently gives for them to be made use of as an unexpected emergency backup, the letter suggests.
Point out Election Board Chair William Duffey responded in an e mail to The Associated Press that the “security of our election gear is of paramount desire to the State Election Board as is the integrity of the election approach in Georgia.” He famous that the alleged breach in Espresso County is remaining investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and secretary of state’s office environment investigators and mentioned the FBI has been questioned to support.
“The investigation is energetic and ongoing,” Duffey wrote. “Information formulated will be deemed to examine the influence of the Espresso County conduct.”
Raffensperger’s office environment has frequently said that Georgia’s elections remain secure mainly because of assorted protection mechanisms in area. Spokesperson Mike Hassinger reported in an electronic mail that the workplace will reply “in owing time with due care” and that the response will be “addressed instantly to the authors, somewhat than leaked to the media to acquire some kind of rhetorical advantage.”
The evident unauthorized copying of election gear in Espresso County happened in January 2021. It is documented in emails, protection digital camera footage and other documents developed in reaction to subpoenas in a prolonged-jogging lawsuit that argues Georgia’s voting devices are susceptible and really should be changed by hand-marked paper ballots.
Those people data show that a laptop forensics workforce traveled to the rural county about 200 miles southeast of Atlanta on Jan. 7, 2021, to forensically duplicate voting devices. E-mail clearly show that Sidney Powell and other Trump-allied lawyers had been associated in arranging for the stop by.
The stability video clip also exhibits that Doug Logan and Jeff Lenberg, who had been included in broader initiatives to solid question on the 2020 election benefits, frequented the place of work afterwards that thirty day period.
The specialists who despatched the letter Thursday have extensive criticized Georgia’s voting equipment, which print a paper ballot that features a human-readable summary of the voter’s alternatives and a barcode that is go through by a scanner to tally the votes. They argue the machines previously made elections extra vulnerable to tampering due to the fact voters cannot study the barcode to validate that it properly displays their choices.
But the copying and sharing of election info and software from Espresso County “increases the two the danger of undetected cyber-attacks on Georgia, and the danger of accusations of fraud and election manipulation,” the letter states.
The pro letter also cites perform by College of Michigan computer science professor J. Alex Halderman, who serves as an professional witness in the extended-managing voting equipment lawsuit. He has recognized what he suggests are protection vulnerabilities in Georgia’s voting devices. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Company in June issued an advisory based on Halderman’s findings.
In addition to urging a change to hand-marked paper ballots, the experts say a statewide submit-election, hazard-limiting audit need to be finished on all of the races on the ballot. A risk-limiting audit effectively utilizes a statistical technique to make certain that the reported benefits match the true votes solid. Current policies require only just one statewide contest to be audited.
At the very least some of the specialists who signed the letter sent to the Georgia Point out Election Board very last calendar year sent a comparable letter to California’s secretary of state ahead of a recall election for the state’s governor urging a arduous audit of that contest. The secretary of point out did not act on the recommendations.
Involved Push author Christina A. Cassidy contributed reporting.