Computer experts urge Georgia to replace voting machines

ATLANTA (AP) — A group of laptop and election protection professionals is urging Ga election officers to exchange the state’s touchscreen voting machines with hand-marked paper ballots forward of the November midterm elections, citing what they say are “serious threats” posed by an clear breach of voting tools in just one county.

The 13 professionals on Thursday despatched a letter to the customers of the Condition Election Board and to Secretary of Point out Brad Raffensperger, who’s a non-voting member of the board. It urges them to quickly stop working with the state’s Dominion Voting Units touchscreen voting devices. It also indicates they mandate a certain kind of write-up-election audit on the outcome of all races on the ballot.

The experts who despatched the letter include teachers and previous condition election officers and are not related with initiatives by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election.

The midterm elections are just two months absent. A change to hand-marked paper ballots could quickly be designed by then since point out legislation presently provides for them to be made use of as an crisis backup, the letter suggests.

Condition Election Board Chair William Duffey responded in an e mail to The Related Push that the “security of our election products is of paramount curiosity to the Point out Election Board as is the integrity of the election process in Georgia.” He observed that the alleged breach in Espresso County is being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and secretary of state’s business office investigators and mentioned the FBI has been asked to support.

“The investigation is energetic and ongoing,” Duffey wrote. “Information formulated will be regarded as to examine the impact of the Espresso County carry out.”

Raffensperger’s place of work has regularly explained that Georgia’s elections stay protected simply because of various stability mechanisms in area. Spokesperson Mike Hassinger said in an e mail that the office environment will answer “in due time with because of care” and that the response will be “addressed directly to the authors, alternatively than leaked to the media to acquire some type of rhetorical gain.”

The obvious unauthorized copying of election machines in Espresso County transpired in January 2021. It is documented in email messages, protection camera footage and other documents manufactured in reaction to subpoenas in a extended-jogging lawsuit that argues Georgia’s voting machines are susceptible and must be replaced by hand-marked paper ballots.

These documents present that a pc forensics group traveled to the rural county about 200 miles southeast of Atlanta on Jan. 7, 2021, to forensically copy voting equipment. E-mail clearly show that Sidney Powell and other Trump-allied lawyers have been involved in arranging for the stop by.

The safety movie also displays that Doug Logan and Jeff Lenberg, who have been associated in broader initiatives to forged doubt on the 2020 election benefits, frequented the workplace later that month.

The gurus who sent the letter Thursday have prolonged criticized Georgia’s voting equipment, which print a paper ballot that incorporates a human-readable summary of the voter’s choices and a barcode that is examine by a scanner to tally the votes. They argue the equipment already produced elections additional susceptible to tampering simply because voters simply cannot browse the barcode to validate that it precisely displays their choices.

But the copying and sharing of election info and computer software from Coffee County “increases the two the threat of undetected cyber-assaults on Georgia, and the chance of accusations of fraud and election manipulation,” the letter says.

The specialist letter also cites work by University of Michigan laptop science professor J. Alex Halderman, who serves as an expert witness in the extended-functioning voting equipment lawsuit. He has discovered what he states are safety vulnerabilities in Georgia’s voting equipment. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Company in June issued an advisory primarily based on Halderman’s results.

In addition to urging a switch to hand-marked paper ballots, the professionals say a statewide article-election, risk-restricting audit really should be finished on all of the races on the ballot. A danger-limiting audit primarily utilizes a statistical technique to assure that the reported effects match the true votes forged. Present-day procedures demand only one statewide contest to be audited.

At the very least some of the gurus who signed the letter despatched to the Ga Condition Election Board last 12 months despatched a equivalent letter to California’s secretary of point out ahead of a remember election for the state’s governor urging a arduous audit of that contest. The secretary of point out did not act on the tips.

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Involved Push author Christina A. Cassidy contributed reporting.

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