The state of Georgia, still reeling from reports of multiple election security breaches over the past two years, has moved one perilous step closer to replacing its 16-year-old F-rated touchscreen voting machines with yet another glaringly vulnerable touchscreen voting system.
Ignoring the advice of independent cybersecurity experts, Georgia’s Secure, Accessible & Fair Elections (SAFE) Commission on Thursday recommended that the state purchase controversial new touchscreen ballot-marking devices that use barcodes to capture and count voters’ selections.
…That recommendation thumbs its nose at the advice of every independent cybersecurity expert who has weighed in on the issue of how to improve Georgia’s voting system.
In the past week alone, 24 highly regarded election experts, including many experts in election cybersecurity, advised the SAFE Commission to reject touchscreen barcode systemsand instead move to hand-marked paper ballots and scanners for most voters.
So did Verified Voting, a well-respected nonpartisan national election integrity group. So did Professor Wenke Lee of the Georgia Institute of Technology (the commission’s only cybersecurity expert).
In fact, so did almost all citizens who made public comments. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, those who spoke in favor of the touchscreen barcode system consisted primarily of lobbyists and election officials.
…Like all touchscreen voting systems, touchscreen barcode systems limit the number of people who can vote simultaneously to the number of touchscreens at the polling place. Thus, if corrupt officials wanted to re-create the long lines that plagued the 2018 midterms, all they’d have to do is send too few machines to certain polling places, or send broken ones, or forget the power cords and blame these and any other problems on “human error.”