Privacy

Georgia voting system on trial, plaintiffs call for paper ballots to replace machines

A Georgia court today heard arguments concerning that state’s voting apparatus and its susceptibility to being hacked, along with an argument by the plaintiffs asking the state to dump their electronic machines and switch to paper ballots for the upcoming election.

During the day-long proceedings, the court heard testimony from several cybersecurity experts who stated categorically that Georgia’s machines were easily hacked, even without direct contact. In one case the expert showed how three votes could be cast for a candidate by a single person, but the hacker could alter the physical print out so it would appear as if only one vote were cast, according to NewsChannel6.com.

One primary failing point discussed in court is a specific USB drive that is connected to a state election official’s laptop. This drive is used to connect the computer to the internet, as well as to Georgia’s central election database (GEMS). NewsChannel6 reported statements were made that a hacker could access the laptop through the USB wireless connection, gaining access to the state’s 27,000 voting machines.

Testimony was also heard from two former state officials who admitted no forensic audit of the equipment was done.

Because the current machinery in place is problematical, the plaintiffs bringing the case, Donna Curling, et al, are asking for paper ballots like those used by absentee voters. The defense argued there simply is not enough time to implement this solution.

However, in a court filing, the plaintiffs argued that the state had more than enough ballot scanning devices to handle all such votes in the time required.

A decision is expected to be handed down by Sept. 21.

The Barnes Law Group, which is representing the state, was contacted by SC Media for comment, but has not yet responded.

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