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Georgia


Motion Filed to Ban Georgia Voting Equipment PDF Print Email
Georgia
By VoterGA   
April 04, 2008
Citizens in an electronic voting lawsuit announced that they have filed a summary judgment motion seeking to ban the voting equipment currently used in Georgia. The motion contends that there are no issues of fact at dispute that would warrant a trial for certain counts of the lawsuit.

The main thrust of the motion centers on a lack of equal protection and due process that the plaintiffs claim Election Day voters have when compared to absentee voters who use optically scanned paper ballots. The motion contends that retention of tangible paper ballots is required for voters to verify their actual ballot choices, for election officials to provide true recounts as needed, to investigate voting discrepancies, to prevent fraud and to produce evidence for contested elections.

In addition, the motion seeks to ban database servers used to tabulate electronic and optical scan votes at county and state levels because of admissions from officials that the equipment does not detect fraudulent manipulation of votes.

The landmark motion further seeks to ban the newer sequential roll technology used in three precincts for the 2006 audit trail pilot on the grounds that it jeopardizes secrecy of the ballot, a point that was stated in the 2006 Audit Trail Pilot Report produced by the office of the new Secretary of State in April of 2007.
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Voters Say Diebold E-Pollbooks Crashed During Primary; Official Says They Didn't PDF Print Email
Georgia
By Kim Zetter   
February 12, 2008
This article was posted at the Wired.com Threat Level Blog and is reposted here with permission of the author.

I've been getting a number of reports from voters in Georgia that the electronic pollbooks the state used during last week's Super Tuesday primary crashed in a number of counties, resulting in the long lines that I reported about last week and in voters leaving without casting ballots.

Numerous voters in at least five Georgia counties have complained that there weren't enough e-pollbooks and that the machines crashed or were otherwise inoperable. But an election official in Fulton County, Georgia, where many of the crashes were reported, denied that any machine crashed, and said voters were mistaken. (I've posted some .mp3 files below that come from a voter hotline in which voters discuss crashes and inoperable machines.)

The ExpressPoll e-pollbooks, made by Diebold Election Systems, are used to verify that a voter is registered. (Georgia uses an older model of the ExpressPoll pictured above.)

Ralph Presley, who voted at a church in Fulton County, said there were about 200 people waiting in line at his precinct and although the church had fourteen voting machines, only two of them were being used at any one time due to a backup caused by problems with the e-pollbooks.

“They were crashing, and then they’d call the technician and wait for the technician to come out,” he told me by phone.

There were only two items on Presley's ballot -- the presidential primary and a bond referendum -- and while it took only 30 seconds to cast a ballot, it took 90 minutes to reach the poll booth. Presley said voters had to wait until a technician arrived to re-boot one of the e-pollbooks that was down. It took the machine about five minutes to re-boot, he said.
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Georgia 10th District Election Headed for a Reprint? PDF Print Email
Georgia
By Sean Flaherty, Iowans for Voting Integrity   
July 18, 2007
In a remarkable upset Republican Paul Broun has apparently defeated Republican front-runner Jim Whitehead in yesterday’s run-off election to fill the seat of the late Rep. Charlie Norwood.

The run-off between the two Republicans was forced when no candidate received 50% of the vote in last month’s special election. With 98% of the precincts reporting – all but about 1,700 absentee ballots – Broun led Whitehead by a razor-thin margin of 371 votes. New reports speculated about a potential recount, but there is little point in a recounting Georgia’s paperless Diebold touchscreen voting machines since all either candidate can get is a reprint.

Broun’s 371 vote edge was notably close to the 369 vote margin in the still contested race for Florida’s 13th District last November.
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Georgia: GAVV Complaint Referred to the Attorney General for Investigation PDF Print Email
Georgia
By Georgians for Verified Voting   
March 14, 2007
The Georgia State Election Board on March 13, 2007 voted unanimously (with one abstention) to refer a complaint filed on December 13, 2006 by Georgians for Verified Voting (GAVV) to the state Attorney General for investigation. GAVV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan citizens' action group that advocates for voting systems and processes in Georgia that are transparent, verifiable and secure.


The complaint raises questions about the electronic voting system used in the 2006 primary and general elections: whether key rules and procedures related to system certification were followed by the former Secretary of State Cathy Cox, Election Director Kathy Rogers, Britain Williams, consultant to the state's voting system certifying agent, Kennesaw Center for Elections, and Diebold Election Systems.

Bob Barr, former member of the U.S. Congress (1995-2003) and president of Liberty Strategies, presented the complaint to the Board.

 

In his statement Barr said: "When there are credible questions raised about touch-screen electronic voting, the state must confirm the source, identify the problem, and put into action a plan to correct the problem or to credibly assure the public that the perceived problems were not in fact extant. The state of Georgia has a profound interest in taking all reasonable steps to investigate such concerns...."

 

"We have every confidence that the Attorney General will conduct a thorough and complete investigation into this matter," said Donna Price, director of GAVV, "and we applaud the State Election Board for their decision. Full Complaint

Georgia: The Cox Legacy - Who "owns" our votes? PDF Print Email
Georgia
By Denis Wright   
December 10, 2006

"A temporary restraining order is necessary and proper under the facts presented to the Court since release of the CD-ROM today at 5:00 p.m. will significantly and permanently impair the rights and interests of the public and the Secretary of State as the custodian of those rights and interests." -- Motion and Supporting Authority for a Temporary Restraining Order, filed in DeKalb Superior Court, State of Georgia on behalf of Cathy Cox, Secretary of State

Two months prior to leaving office Cathy Cox (pictured at right on a Diebold marketing brochure), Georgia's outgoing Secretary of State and the subject of much controversy, felt compelled to stop an effort to perform a citizen audit of the state's primary and run-off elections of July and August 2006.

Georgia's elections, like some 38 other states, are conducted on DRE or Direct Record Electronic voting machines which are manufactured, upgraded and serviced by various private corporations who claim they are unaccountable to any outside scrutiny. In Georgia's case that corporation is Diebold Election Systems, and Diebold supplies not only the machines but the ballots, the training, and the "proprietary" software that counts our votes.

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Possible HAVA Violation in Georgia's Provisional Balloting PDF Print Email
Georgia
By Joseph Hall, Univeristy of California, Berkeley   
November 28, 2006
Yesterday, I read Ron Rivest's write-up of his elections observation experience in Georgia this past November ("Trip Report: Election Day 2006: Visit to Atlanta Georgia on 11/7/2006 for election observing" (PDF)).

 

I was dismayed, as Ron was (page 3), to hear that voters who were not on the rolls were not offered provisional ballots. Under HAVA, all voters who believe they are entitled to cast a vote should at least be permitted to cast a provisional ballot (of course, it's a different question as to whether those ballots would subsequently count).

 

Georgia's procedures seem to be illegal under HAVA and constitute a HAVA violation. That is, HAVA says in the section that established provisional voting (§302 or 42 USC 15482):

(a) PROVISIONAL VOTING REQUIREMENTS.-If an individual declares that such individual is a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the individual desires to vote and that the individual is eligible to vote in an election for Federal office, but the name of the individual does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the individual is not eligible to vote, such individual shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot [...]

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Georgia: 2006 Election Candidates Join E-Voting Rights Suit PDF Print Email
Georgia
By VoterGA Press Release   
November 26, 2006

VoterGa, a diverse non-partisan coalition that organized an E-Voting rights lawsuit filed in Georgia during July of this year, announced today its intent to enjoin three 2006 election candidates as plaintiffs to the suit. Included are a Democrat, Republican and an independent write-in candidate who are questioning the 2006 primaries, run-off and general election, respectively.

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Georgia: Diebold Does Not Own Our Votes PDF Print Email
Georgia
By CountTheVote.org   
November 14, 2006

Georgia citizens will hold a press conference on Tuesday, November 14, to announce the filing of a lawsuit to gain access to public election information. Voters will challenge Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox, who is attempting to block public access to voting records. Are Georgia's elections transparent and fair? Apparently Cox and Diebold don't want us to know. Georgia citizens will file suit to demand access to voting information to ensure the fairness of Diebold electronic voting machines, whose accuracy has been questioned.


Georgia's  Secretary of State's office has filed an injunction to stop a citizen from reviewing public election records. Before Diebold became involved in Georgia, election records were fully accessible to the public. The argument being put forward by the Secretary of State is that the election information is proprietary to Diebold. Cathy Cox, Secretary of State, has no business serving as a prosecutor for Diebold, and has no business telling DeKalb County what they can or cannot give to the public.

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Georgia: Voter ID Law Defeated Again In Court PDF Print Email
Georgia
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
September 20, 2006

Download The Court Ruling 

 

Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford Jr. has ruled that the latest version of Georgia Voter ID law violates the constitutional rights of the state's voters. Bedford argued that the law placed an undue burden on voters even if voters are allowed to cast provisional ballots without the required identification. The ruling was the latest in a series of court decisions against the Georgia law.

In his ruling Bedford wrote "Any attempt by the Legislature to require more than what is required by the express language of our Constitution cannot withstand judicial scrutiny."

The law was challenged by Rosalind Lake, an elderly African American woman who was left partially blind after being nearly electrocuted in her home, is unable to drive and could not easily obtain a voter ID, her attorney said.

Proponents of the law cited an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article that claimed 5,000 dead people were listed as having voted in the eight elections preceding 2000. However, the lawyer for the paintiffs, former governor Roy Barnes, noted that the fraud happened primarily in absentee balloting and under the law being challenged, absentee voters are not required to show identification.

The Washington Post quoted Barnes "This is the most sinister scheme I've ever seen and it's going on nationwide." Indeed, the court’s decision served as a prelude to today’s debate of a similar bill on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Georgia Election Integrity Groups Call For Decertification Of Diebold Voting Systems PDF Print Email
Georgia
By Donna Price, Georgians for Verified Voting, and John Fortuin, Defenders of Democracy   
July 12, 2006
Georgians for Verified Voting and Defenders of Democracy are calling on the Georgia State Election Board and the Office of the Secretary of State to:
1) Immediately decertify the state’s Diebold Election System (DES).  
2) Begin immediate preparations for the deployment of an alternative means of voting in time for the 2006 General Election;
3) To contract with an outside, independent source for parallel testing to be conducted randomly in precincts in 3 counties in Georgia -- Cobb, DeKalb, and Fulton –- for the primary on July 18, 2006, as recommended by the Brennan Report, "The Machinery of Democracy:  Protecting elections in an Electronic World".

A security vulnerability recently exposed in the architecture of the DES is being called a "major national security risk" by computer science and security experts. The effect of this vulnerability is that voting systems could be infected throughout an entire state, enabling one attacker to alter election results statewide.

"It's the most severe security flaw ever discovered in a voting system," said Michael I. Shamos, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University who is an examiner of electronic voting systems for Pennsylvania.

This vulnerability represents an open backdoor that is part of the design of the Diebold TS-R6, which has been deployed in Georgia since 2002.

Diebold admits to this vulnerability but calls it a “feature.”

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