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Voting Activists' Letter to Georgia Secretary of State PDF  | Print |  Email
By Roxanne Jekot, Donna Price, and John Fortuin   
January 26, 2006
Dear Ms. Cox,

Recent events in Florida have again shown how vulnerable Georgia is to election tampering. In the past, these charges have been dismissed. There is now even more compelling evidence that Georgia is ignoring, and we write to you today to respectfully request that you address these very important issues immediately.

You have recently indicated that you are now in favor of some type of voter verified paper trail. What, if anything, has your office done to make this happen?

There is a proven security breach with the Diebold Election System Memory Cards; a recent mock election in Leon County, Florida demonstrated that Diebold optical scanners can be hacked into because of the use of interpreted code on the memory cards. As you know, Georgia uses the same Diebold optical scanners (that were tested in Florida) to count absentee ballots and it uses Diebold DREs (Touchscreens) for the
rest of its ballots.

The 1990 and 2002 FEC technical standards ban the use of interpreted code on memory cards because it creates a serious security vulnerability (See section 4.2.2,). On January 5, 2006, Diebold admitted that their OS, TS and TSX voting equipment uses interpreted code in their "Response to Pennsylvania Request for Clarification on Basic Issues".

Because of the fact that Georgia must comply with federal law, and federal standards prohibit the use of interpreted code, it appears that the legality of all Diebold election equipment nationally and in Georgia is in question. We urge you to immediately de-certify the OS, TS and TSX Diebold voting systems Georgia intended for use in the upcoming 2006 elections - or to provide extensive documentation showing why this
should not occur.

If, for some reason, you question the evidence found in Florida, we would like to request that you allow a similar mock election to occur right here at the state capitol. While it will not be election day, a skilled and tech savvy individual can show the state how and why their votes are at risk. Too often, these charges are dismissed as conspiracy or the discussion of technical aspects blur the reality of the situation. A real exhibition will simplify everything and it will let the people and the public officials see for themselves.

Finally, the public would like to see all of your correspondence with Diebold and we believe this material, these documents that belong to the public should be on the Secretary of State's website to inform Georgia voters, public officials and the press about this critical and quickly evolving situation.

Please respond as soon as possible on these matters. After all, it is an election year.


Roxanne Jekot,
Donna Price, Georgians for Verified Voting
John Fortuin, Defenders of Democracy
Georgia: Undervotes, Overvotes, Blank Ballots, Oh MY! PDF  | Print |  Email
By Roxanne Jekot,   
December 06, 2005
The 21st Century version of the hanging, pregnant and dimpled chads.

This article is also posted at

After the 2000 election debacle, the people of the United States agreed on one thing - we never wanted to see another hanging, pregnant or dimpled chad. The nightmare of Florida united the country in the War Against Chads. However, in our mad dash to resolution, we have simply changed Chad's image, not its problems or presence.

Electronic voting adopted and changed Chad's name to Undervotes, Blank Votes and Blank Ballots. And Chad continues to be a problem child because we didn't fix the underlying problem by giving him a haircut and putting him in a nice suit.

While election officials like Georgia's Secretary of State and a study by CalTech/MIT trumpet the elimination of undervotes, they neglect to inform us that Undervotes have been replaced by Blank Votes.
Secret Ballot Compromised in Georgia! PDF  | Print |  Email
By Roxanne Jekot,   
December 06, 2005
"The secret ballot guarantees that it is one's private opinion that counts. Open ballots are not truly free for those whose preferences defy the structures of power or friendship." -----Rep. Mark B. Cohen (D-PA)

The 'secret ballot' is the foundation of the modern democratic process. It signifies the difference between a rubberstamp dictatorship where political opponents can be punished for their views and a democratic election where everyone is free to vote for whom they please.

Not so in the state of Georgia. In the 2004 election, 367,777 Georgia voters-more than 10% of the state's electorate-unknowingly gave up the secrecy of their ballot, by taking advantage of the new early-voting process. This new procedure, which uses Direct Record Electronic (DRE) equipment-or, to put in plain English, touch screen machines does not require voters to justify their decision to to vote early. So anyone can cast a ballot in the five days preceding the election, no questions asked. Sounds fair, easy and convenient.

But there's a crucial difference between traditional absentee ballots, i.e., the paper kind, and the electronic absentee votes cast last year in Georgia. The paper ballot comes in an envelope, which is discarded prior to that ballot's getting counted, in order to protect the balloter's identity. With these electronic absentee votes, there is no such protection. In fact, the new ballot is directly traceable to the person who has cast it.
Georgia: Newspaper Reverses Position on Controversial, Unconstitutional Voter ID Law PDF  | Print |  Email
Contributed by John Gideon, Information Manager, and VoteTrustUSA   
November 27, 2005
Originally published at The BradBlog.  Reposted by permission of the author.

Just four weeks ago the Athens Banner-Herald in Georgia editorialized in favor of the repressive new Georgia Voter ID law. This law had, just 3 days prior to the editorial, been found by a federal judge to be an example of a "Jim Crow-era Poll Tax" and thus the law was suspended. Critics have charged that the requirement for Photo ID at the polls will disenfranchise millions of mostly Democratic-leaning minorities, elderly, poor and urban-dwellers who don't own driver's licenses.

But things have changed since the Banner-Herald's original Op/Ed. One of the Georgia bill's sponsors, Rep. Sue Burmeister (R-Augusta), got caught with her sheet down when she made statements to the U.S. Department of Justice who had been tasked with determining the legality of the new law under the Federal Voting Rights Act. Her statements were released along with a story revealing that 4 of the 5 career staff members in the DoJ who were advising on the matter had recommended against giving approval to Georgia's new law. That advice was then overruled by the Bush-appointed Attorney General and the law was given DoJ approval just prior to be ruled as unconstitutional by two Federal courts.

In her statements, Burmeister is said to have told DoJ officials looking into the law that blacks in her district only vote when they are paid to do so. Those remarks are contained in the 51-page report from the DoJ's analysis recommending against approval of Georgia's law. Burmeister reportedly told officials that "when blacks in her precinct are not paid to vote, they do not go to the polls."
Georgia's "Model" Election Management System PDF  | Print |  Email
By Ellen Theisen, and VoteTrustUSA   
May 01, 2005
"Georgia has a model system for the deployment and management of elections technology, which combines the resources of its Secretary of State (SOS), its University system, and its county election officials."[1]

Unfortunately, Georgia's "model system" appears to be incapable of electronically tracking election turnout data by precinct. I discovered this by accident while I was trying to confirm Georgia's 0.4% presidential undervote rate as reported by Charles Stewart III in a February report of the Caltech/MIT Voting Integrity Project.[2] I attempted to obtain the number of ballots cast in each precinct in Georgia, and that's what led me to discover the limitations of Georgia's computerized voter registration system. Here's how it happened.
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