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How Voting System Insecurities are Being Played - A Case Study in Georgia

By Wendy Gloffke, PhD

Here we present and discuss a lawsuit, Curling vs Kemp, that was filed by Democrat-affiliated groups over an election which put Karen Handel in as Georgia’s first Republican woman ever elected to Congress. The description of the issues with electronic voting machines is interesting. It’s a great illustration of how the Democrats used electronic voting machine issues to contest election results. The arguments put forth about electronic voting most likely apply across the board.



“In Curling v. Kemp, two groups of Georgia voters contend that Georgia’s old paperless voting machines are so unreliable that they compromise the plaintiffs’ constitutional right to vote. In ruling on the voters’ motion for preliminary injunction, Judge Amy Totenberg held that the plaintiffs had demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits—in other words, Georgia’s insecure voting system likely violated their constitutional rights. While the court declined to order relief in time for the 2018 elections, the ruling suggests that Georgia may eventually be ordered to move to a more secure voting system.”

Reference: Mardsen J. Federal Court Ruling in Georgia Shows Judges Have a Role to Play in Election Security. October 12, 2018. Lawfare. Available at https://www.lawfareblog.com/federal-court-ruling-georgia-shows-judges-have-role-play-election-security

The Brennan Center for Justice framed the decision on the case as follows:

“At first glance, Tuesday’s federal court ruling allowing Georgia to use insecure all-electronic voting machines in the midterms was a defeat for advocates seeking safe, accurate and fair elections.

But a deeper look at the 46-page decision in Curling v. Kemp reveals that it lays the groundwork for other states to finally abandon vulnerable all-electronic voting systems and replace them with those that leave a tangible, concrete paper trail.

The only reason U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg did not order Georgia to adopt such a system now, she wrote, is because of the short time-frame

before the November election. With early voting set to begin in only a few weeks, replacing the all-electronic machines with those that produce paper receipts, she said, would be unduly disruptive and sow confusion.”

Reference: Codrington III, WU. A Temporary Loss Could be a Big Win for Secure Voting. Spet. 19, 2018. Available at https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/temporary-loss-could-be-big-win-secure-voting.

We can't have this both ways. If the machines are insecure, which we believe they are, then that can't be hotly contested when one side wins but said to not be a problem if another side wins. then we have the situation of the loudest and most energetic side winning public opinion not based on actual security of the vote, but on a case-by-case argument.

This is not at all how a fair and reasoned national voting system should work. It is neither balanced, fair, nor secure. We Must go back to paper voting until these issues are resolved.

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