A group of Georgia voters and a Colorado-based watchdog organization filed a lawsuit late Monday asking a judge to overturn the results of last month’s 6th Congressional District special election and scrap the state’s voting system, Colorado Politics has learned.
The complaint, filed in Fulton County Superior Court, alleges that state and local election officials ignored warnings for months that Georgia’s centralized election system — already known for potential security flaws and lacking a paper trail to verify results — had been compromised and left unprotected from intruders since at least last summer, casting doubt on Republican Karen Handel’s 3.8-point win over Democrat Jon Ossoff in the most expensive House race in the nation’s history….
Critics, however, contend the judge concluded nothing of the sort, ruling only that the plaintiffs hadn’t demonstrated the machines “had widely malfunctioned or skewed results.” A sophisticated hacker, computer security experts say, could erase tracks, requiring an equally sophisticated investigation to uncover evidence of an intrusion. That’s why, plaintiffs told Colorado Politics, they’re also asking the court to order a forensic analysis of the state’s voting system and its components.
Polling places in Georgia use Diebold AccuVote TS touchscreen voting machines first purchased in 2002 and run on a modified version of Windows last updated by Microsoft 14 years ago, King told the Brennan Center for Justice two years ago as part of a study on voting security. (The company changed its name to Premier Election Solutions about a decade ago, and most of its assets were later purchased by Dominion Voting Systems.) The election center King operates at Kennesaw State has been responsible for overseeing and securing the state’s electronic election equipment and infrastructure since the state installed the system.
“It’s quite clear that the center at Kennesaw State has very lax security procedures,” said Barbara Simons, chairwoman of the nonpartisan Verified Voting advocacy organization. “But even if they have perfect security, those machines should not be used. They’re paperless machines — you cannot check the results, and the voter cannot verify that the voter’s selections has been accurately recorded inside the machine’s memory.”
Although the nonprofit isn’t involved in the Georgia litigation, it has been working nationwide to eliminate paperless voting. Every single study of the machines Georgia uses, she added, “has shown them to be insecure. Georgia should have stopped using these machines a long time ago.”