Given the multitude of issues related to the State of Georgia’s elections system including: data breaches, issues and lawsuits related to its unauditable black-box elections system, server wipes at a time of legal scrutiny, voter suppression accusations after voter purge and attempts to close precincts, highly suspicious election drop-off rates in African American communities – It’s time to create a log of many of the related news stories chronicling the Georgia Secretary of State’s failure to preside over fair and transparent elections with news stories dating from 2015 onward.
- Feb 12, 2019 Politico: Georgia voting irregularities raise more troubling questions about the state’s elections
The undervote rate in the lieutenant governor’s race was just 1 percent on mail-in or absentee paper ballots, compared with 4.5 percent on ballots cast on touchscreens
- Feb 11, 2019 CBS46: Voter Suppression? and Political Analysis
- Feb 9, 2019 TheRoot: Thousands of Black Votes in Georgia Disappeared and No One Can Explain It
- Feb 8, 2019 Coalition for Good Governance: Georgia’s 127,000 Missing Votes—Disproportionate Vote Loss inAfrican American Neighborhoods
The extreme undervote issue occurred at statistically significant levels in 101 of Georgia’s 159 counties. However, the undervotes on voting machines are concentrated in precincts where African American voters make up the majority of the precincts’ registered voters. The rates of touchscreen machine–reported undervotes in such precincts in the Lt. Governor contest are far greater than the undervote rates in non–African American neighborhoods regardless of whether those neighborhoods lean Democratic or Republican. The undervote problem did not happen at the same exaggerated levels in many primarily White neighborhoods that overwhelmingly voted for Stacey Abrams and other Democrats, rebutting the argument that the difference can be explained by party-driven voter behavior.
- Jan 23, 2019 Commoncause.org: Common Cause Georgia Urges Full Transparency in New Voting System Purchase
- Jan 8, 2019 Verifiedvoting.org: Verified Voting Recommends Hand-Marked Paper Ballots for Georgia to SAFE Commission
- Jan 8, 2019 Daily Report: UC-Berkeley Elections Expert Says Georgia’s Lt. Governor Contest Is ‘In Substantial Doubt’
- Dec 13, 2018 sarahforgeorgia.com: Data Anomaly in the 2018 Georgia Lieutenant Governor Race
- Nov 25, 2018 AJC: Nonprofit group, 3 voters file suit seeking new election for Georgia lieutenant governor
- Oct 16, 2018 Mother Jones: Georgia County and Secretary of State Sued for Rejecting Minority Absentee Ballots at High Rates
- Oct 2, 2018 CBS46: Georgia Voters Purged from System (video)
- Aug 24, 2018 CBS46: Accusations of black voter suppression in Georgia county spur closely watched vote (video)
- Aug 22, 2018 AJC: Georgia to demo options for new voting system
- Aug 14, 2018 CNN: 6 million Georgia voters’ records exposed: ‘Could have easily been compromised’ (video)
“The data was open to anyone in the world who had an internet connection…Even when confronted with a security disaster, [Kemp’s] response was to blame managers under his supervision for their incompetence and leave the security disaster without so much as a forensic review of the impacts of the security failures.”
- Apr 18, 2018 AJC: How to hack elections on Georgia’s electronic voting machines
A rapt audience watched as professor Alex Halderman, an expert on electronic voting machines, changed votes in a hypothetical election before their eyes. At a Georgia Tech demonstration this week, Halderman showed how to rig an election by infecting voting machines with malware that guaranteed a chosen candidate would always win.
- Apr 13, 2018 AJC: Public review of new Georgia voting system launched
- Mar 19, 2018 AJC: Opposition mounts against bill to replace Georgia’s voting system
- Mar 7, 2018 AJC: Georgia moves to replace hackable electronic voting machines
- Feb 19, 2018 AJC: Kemp faces new voter security questions amid Russia probe
- Jan 25, 2018 AJC: Kemp accuses Cagle of joining ‘liberal conspiracy theorists’ in push for paper ballots
- Jan 22, 2018 AJC: Lawmakers propose switching Georgia from digital to paper ballots
- Dec 18, 2107 Bloomberg: Georgia’s Election System Can’t Be Trusted
- Oct 27, 2017 Slate: Incompetence or a Cover-Up?
- Oct 26, 2017 APNewsBreak: Georgia election server wiped after suit filed
A computer server crucial to a lawsuit against Georgia election officials was quietly wiped clean by its custodians just after the suit was filed, The Associated Press has learned. The server’s data was destroyed July 7 by technicians at the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University, which runs the state’s election system.
- Jul 14, 2017 AJC: Georgia to shift elections work in-house, away from Kennesaw State
- Jul 5, 2017 AJC: Lawsuit seeks to void 6th District runoff over aging voting system
- Mar 3, 2017 WSBTV: FBI investigating data breach involving state voters
- Mar 2, 2017 AJC: As many as 7.5 million voter records involved in Georgia data breach
Millions of Georgia voters may have had their personal information compromised for the second time in as many years, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation Friday at Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems involving an alleged data breach.
- Sep 16, 2016 AJC: One of the nation’s most unique election partnerships is in Georgia
The state’s collaboration with the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University…has only one client – the state – and only a handful of staff and student assistants, yet it has a hand in almost every operation that touches Election Day. It creates every ballot (even the local ones) used in every election every year across the state; sources every electronic poll book (list of eligible voters) used in every election for each of the state’s 3,000 precincts; and tests every single piece of voting equipment used across the state
- Sep 9, 2016 AJC: An election primer on Georgia’s voting system and ballot security
- Aug 28, 2016 Politico: Elections security: Federal help or power grab?
- Aug 25, 2016 Nextgov: At Least One State Declines Offer for DHS Voting Security
“Georgia, which is running electronic-only machines—there’s no paper trail. … And the machines they’re using are more than a decade old…and the operating system they’re using is Windows 2000, which hasn’t been updated for security for years, which means it’s a sitting duck,” Zeynep Tufekci, a University of North Carolina information and library science professor, told NPR on Saturday.
- Dec 14, 2015 AJC: New details on Georgia Secretary of State Office’s massive data breach
- Dec 2, 2015 AJC: Exclusive: Fired Kemp worker says he’s a scapegoat in data breach
- Nov 18, 2015 AJC: Data breach in Georgia could affect 6 million voters
Kemp’s office sent what it called “personal identifying information” to 12 organizations, including state political parties, news media organizations and Georgia GunOwner Magazine. The information was sent to the organizations Oct. 13, but officials may not have realized they goofed until 35 days later when they were served with the lawsuit.
- Coalition for Good Governance
- MIT Election Lab
- Dr. Michael Herron, Dartmouth Professor of Government Chair, Program in Quantitative Social Science and others
- Rich Demillo, Phd, Professor of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and former Chief Technology Officer at Hewlett-Packard
- Alex Halderman, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Michigan
“Voting is not as safe as it needs to be,” Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan, said Monday. “The safest technology is to have voters vote on a piece of paper.”
- State Rep Scot Turner
“When you see a machine flip votes, you have to admit things are vulnerable,” Turner, a Republican from Holly Springs, said after watching Halderman’s demonstration. “It might take a wide-scale effort to do what he did on a statewide basis, but it can be done. We owe it to the voters to make sure it’s not.”
- Mark Niesse, AJC reporter
- Greg Bluestein, AJC reporter
- Kristina Torres, AJC reporter
- Marian Schneider, President of the Verified Voting Foundation
- Sara Henderson, Executive Director of Common Cause Georgia
- Pew Research Center
- Casey Cagle, Fmr Lt Governor (R)
Cagle told WABE that a paper ballot trail “ensures that accuracy is there, and that there are no games that potentially could be played.”
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Empower Elections monitors and supports elections using visual analytics and advocacy. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, the company advocates audit-able election systems, hand-marked paper ballots with recount authority and transparency in the elections process.