A federal judge ruled on Monday that every polling place in Georgia must have at least one updated paper backup list of eligible voters to help keep long lines from forming on Election Day if electronic pollbooks used to check in voters malfunction.
The “narrowly tailored” order directs state election officials to “provide at least a modicum of the voting backup plan tools essential to protecting voters’ constitutionally protected ability and right to cast a ballot that is counted and given the same weight as any other on this coming November 3rd general election day and thereafter,” U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg wrote in her 67-page order.
Voting integrity activists had asked the judge to order the change, arguing that malfunctioning electronic pollbooks created bottlenecks that resulted in voters waiting in long lines during the primary election in June and runoff election in August….
Totenberg’s ruling follows a three-day hearing earlier this month in a long-running fight over Georgia’s voting machines. The lawsuit filed in 2017 against state and county election officials originally challenged the state’s old, outdated voting machines but has since been amended to target the new machines and election system.
Totenberg’s ruling deals primarily with the issue of paper pollbook backups. She said during an emergency hearing Monday that she needs more time to address the other issues at stake in light of new issues raised by plaintiffs over the weekend, but she wanted to give the state time to begin preparing to provide paper pollbook backups.
The election integrity activists say the new voting machines are unaccountable and unverifiable and have many of the same security vulnerabilities as the old ones. They have asked Totenberg to order the state to ditch the new ballot-marking machines in favor of hand-marked paper ballots for the November election.
State officials have argued that Georgia has made significant improvements in recent years to update and secure its election infrastructure. They had urged Totenberg not to order any changes so close to the election, saying they would be extremely costly and difficult to implement in time.
I have posted the ruling below: