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Tue Jan 1, 2019, 03:05 PM

Changes may be ahead for criticized Georgia election system

Source: Associated Press

Changes may be ahead for criticized Georgia election system

By KATE BRUMBACK
January 1, 2019

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s outdated election system has drawn criticism from cybersecurity experts and voting integrity advocates, and now a commission tasked with examining potential replacements is preparing to make recommendations to lawmakers.

The paperless system was closely scrutinized during last year’s nationally watched gubernatorial race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp, who was Georgia’s secretary of state and chief elections official. Abrams and her allies accused Kemp of suppressing minority votes and mismanaging the election, including by neglecting elections infrastructure. Kemp, now governor-elect, has vehemently denied those allegations.

Cybersecurity experts have warned that the touchscreen voting machines Georgia has used since 2002 are unreliable and vulnerable to hacking, and provide no way to do an audit or confirm that votes have been recorded correctly because there’s no paper trail.

The state’s voting system has been challenged in lawsuits, including one filed after the November election by Fair Fight Action, a nonprofit backed by Abrams. In addition to the outdated machines, critics also raised concerns after security lapses exposed the personal information of Georgia voters.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg wrote in September that Georgia election officials had stalled too long in the face of “a mounting tide of evidence of the inadequacy and security risks” of the state’s voting system. She declined to order the state to use paper ballots in the midterm elections, saying there was not enough time before voting began. But she warned that “these same arguments would hold much less sway in the future.”

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Read more: https://apnews.com/014eaefdbb1f4aa3934a96f01f15545c

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