History of Georgia's Electronic Elections and VoterGA

VoterGA History

We Will Defend Your Voting Rights in Court
to Seek Relief from E-voing that Cannot Be
Verified, Audited, or Recounted.

How It Happened:

In 2002, Georgia implemented electronic voting that cannot be verified, audited, or recounted. In 2004, just 2 years after a $54 million electronic voting “revolution”, Free Congress Foundation ranked Georgia dead last nationally in voting systems and procedures. The reasons are simple:

* No Georgia voter can verify that their ballots were cast correctly;
* No poll worker can verify that any voting machine counted votes correctly and;
* Recounts are now impossible since we can only reprint previous unverifiable results;

When the machines were evaluated, several computer professionals and concerned citizens who are now in our organization explained both verbally and in writing to state election officials including Professor Britain Williams who headed the evaluation that:

* Voting machines can be accidentally or intentionally programmed in a variety of ways to count differently on election night then than during a certification;
* The machines selected for evaluation had no external audit trails to verify their accuracy;
* At least two other machine vendors offered external web based or printed ballot audit trails;

In spite of our concerns, the Secretary of State (S.O.S.) installed these systems against our will. Once implemented, the new procedures:

* Removed all direct physical evidence of voter intent from Georgia elections;
* Reduced the percentage of auditable ballots cast in Georgia from about 82% to 0% and;
* Allowed fraud and errors to become virtually undetectable statewide.

The Diebold AccuVote TS series machines they purchased have been the subject of scathing reviews by universities and state reports nationwide. For example, Johns Hopkins found that the software had “gross design and programming errors” and the Nevada Electronic Sys. Div. Chief reported to the S.O.S. that they were “a legitimate threat to the integrity of the election process”. California, Ohio, Nevada and Maryland have officially concluded that machines and procedures similar to those used in Georgia are inadequate to conduct elections in their states.

What Has Been Done So Far:

We have tried executive and legislative branch options to preserve the integrity of Georgia elections since these machines were under evaluation and after they were selected. The brief history of the actions and responses from both Democrat and Republican leaders is astounding:

* In 2002, S.O.S. Cathy Cox ignored the 21st Century Voting Commission recommendation that: “the chosen system should have the capability to produce an independent paper audit trail of every ballot cast”;

* Cox and Elections Director Rogers still adamantly oppose voter verified paper ballot audit trails (VVPBAT) and election night verification at the legislature while they publicly claim to support them;

* The State Elections Board bought eletronic poll books with the $17,000,000 that could have been used to purchase the secure printers the S.O.S. claimed were needed for external audit trails;

* In 2006, legislative leaders chose SB500 a 3 precinct self repealing audit trail pilot over our SB591 and HB790, bi-partisan bills with external audit trails and vote count protection procedures that gained the support of 10 civic organizations and independent parties;

* Gov. Perdue recently deferred inquiries to the S.O.S. in response to our direct appeal to eliminate unverifiable voting by executive order.

Without citizen action, the future of Georgia elections looks extremely looks dim:

* For the 3 precinct SB500 pilot, Rogers insisted on purchasing newer Diebold equipment that still cannot produce an easily auditable ballot because they roll voting results into a sealed canister instead of cutting them into ballots like grocery store or gas pump slips.

* House and Senate Conference Committee members refused to dictate appropriate technology for the pilot and ignored our contention that newer Diebold machines are just as inappropriate for use now as the unverifiable voting machines were in 2002.

If the government officials we entrust will not protect one of our most precious rights, we are left with no choice but to file suit so that Georgia citizens can have the assurance that their vote was counted correctly and accurately.

What We Must Do Now:

The good news is that key portions of the Georgia Constitution and Georgia Election Code protect our rights. There are also several state and federal precedents on our side as well as equal protection provisions. But we must file suit to protect our freedom. Our suit will seek three basic objectives that most any Georgia voter would expect in an election. These are to:

* Require that any technology used in Georgia must either be able to read or produce ballots as required by the Georgia Constitution;

* Provide for public, precinct level counting of votes to ensure that the machines tallied the votes correctly as required by Georgia Election Code.

* Stipulate in the event of similar discrepancies across precincts in a given race, that the state manually recount that race at no cost to the candidates or parties involved

If these principles cannot be achieved, then we must cease using electronic voting machines altogether. We urge you to join us in the fight to save Georgia by restoring the integrity of Georgia elections. Georgia needs your immediate help so that we can take appropriate legal action to restore voting that can be verified, audited and recounted.

Freedom is not free.
Please click the Donation button to contribute or mail your contribution to:
Voter GA P.O. Box 808 Decatur, Ga. 30031