WASHINGTON — Habersham County’s Mud Creek belt in northeastern Georgia had 276 registered voters advanced of the state’s primary elections in May.
But 670 ballots were cast, according to the Georgia secretary of state’s office, advertence a 243 percent turnout.
The discrepancy, included in a cardinal of affidavit statements and exhibits filed as allotment of a federal accusation adjoin the accompaniment by acclamation aegis activists, comes amidst abscess accessible affair for the aegis of Georgia’s voting systems. Georgia is one of four states that uses voting machines statewide that aftermath no cardboard almanac for voters to verify, authoritative them difficult to audit, experts say.
And cybersecurity experts accept warned that there were aegis flaws on the accompaniment acclamation website arch up to the 2016 challenge that acceptable the download and abetment of aborigine information.
The cloister filings highlight assorted issues with Georgia’s 16-year-old voting machines, as able-bodied as the arrangement that runs them and handles aborigine allotment information.
In one affidavit statement, a aborigine explains that she and her husband, who were registered to vote at the aforementioned address, were assigned altered polling places and altered burghal board districts. In another, a voting apparatus froze on Acclamation Day.
In several instances, voters showed up at their polling places as listed on the secretary of state’s website, alone to be told they were declared to vote elsewhere.
An Atlanta Democrat’s voting apparatus provided him a acclamation including the 5th Congressional District, for which longtime Rep. John Lewis ran unopposed, instead of his 6th Congressional District ballot, which featured a aggressive Democratic race.
Some issues, such as the freezing machines, could be chalked up to the age of the polling infrastructure, said Harri Hursti, a computer programmer who studies acclamation cybersecurity.
But others, like the incorrect ballots, could accept been acquired by annihilation from a accounting absurdity to a awful abetment of aborigine data, said Hursti, who is additionally the organizer for the Voting Village at hacking appointment DEF CON, area participants authenticate hacking into some accompaniment voting machines.
It’s accessible that there’s a affiliation amid the aegis issues appear at Georgia’s Center for Acclamation Systems and the issues actual in the cloister statements, but an actual about-face to cardboard ballots is all-important regardless, Hursti said.
“But the affiliation is not needed,” he said. “You don’t allegation to accept a smoker gun to do the appropriate thing.”
In a statement, the appointment of Georgia’s Secretary of Accompaniment Brian Kemp dedicated the aegis of accompaniment elections.
“Alongside federal, bounded and clandestine area partners, we abide to action every day to ensure defended and authentic elections in Georgia that are chargeless from interference. To this day, due to the vigilance, adherence and adamantine assignment of those partners, our elections arrangement and voting accessories abide secure,” backer Candice Broce wrote in an email.
Kemp, a Republican applicant for governor, has set up a bipartisan agency to attending into alteration accompaniment voting machines advanced of the 2020 elections, but not in time for the midterm elections this November.
Marilyn Marks, the controlling administrator of the Coalition for Good Government, which has led the allegation adjoin the state’s administration of the acclamation system, said the statements filed in federal cloister are aloof the tip of the abstract back it comes to aborigine complaints.
“We are appointment alone a baby sample from array of accepted arrangement malfunctions and irregularities,” she wrote in an email. “But those examples should accession alarms with officials, political parties, candidates and voters. Something is awfully amiss at a systemic level, and is not actuality taken actively by Secretary Kemp, or the accompaniment and counties’ acclamation boards answerable with administering defended elections.”
The cloister statements are the latest additions to the growing account of apropos surrounding Georgia’s acclamation security.
In July, Justice Department appropriate admonition Robert Mueller’s allegation adumbrated that Russian agents answerable with hacking into Democrats’ emails additionally visited canton acclamation websites in Georgia, amid added states.
Kennesaw Accompaniment University’s Center for Acclamation Systems, which was amenable for active Georgia’s elections, was accepted accessible by affable cybersecurity experts both afore and afterwards the 2016 elections.
Voter advice and added important data, which gets broadcast to polling places in Georgia’s 159 counties, was accessible to the accessible and could accept been manipulated by bad actors, answerable Logan Lamb, the aboriginal affable hacker to acquaint the accompaniment of the issue. He beatific that notification in August 2016, but the botheration was not absolutely apparent until March 2017.
Jasmine Clark, who will be on the acclamation for Georgia’s House of Representatives in November, spent an added bisected hour at her polling abode on July 24. If she didn’t accept that additional time, she may not accept been able to vote at all, she said in her statement.
When Clark accustomed at about 7:50 that morning, elections admiral told her she’d gone to the amiss polling place, alike admitting she hadn’t afflicted her allotment advice back 2016.
Inexplicably, she was told 25 account afterwards that her name had appeared on the cyberbanking poll book for that voting location, and she was able to casting her ballot.
“Unlike added bodies I met that day who were angry away, I had the adaptability to break to action for my appropriate to vote in the appropriate belt on the actual ballot,” she said in her statement.
Duluth aborigine Dana Bowers accomplished a agnate problem. She was told, “Don’t anguish Ms. Bowers, this has been accident all day,” according to her affidavit declaration.
Bowers, who works as an advancement coordinator in Josh McCall’s attack for the 9th Congressional District, had arrested her “My Aborigine Page” on the secretary of state’s appointment website afore branch to the acclamation in July and begin she’d been assigned a new belt — cardinal 100.
But back she accustomed at what she anticipation was her new polling place, she was told she was still assigned her aboriginal polling abode in belt 96. She anguish up bushing out a conditional acclamation that day. Back she arrested her “My Aborigine Page” afterwards the election, she wrote in her statement, she was assigned to belt 96 already more.
Other statements actual issues with the voting machines themselves.
Bowers, for example, noticed that a apparatus was apparent “Do Not Touch,” back she went to vote in July. One poll artisan told her votes had been casting on the apparatus above-mentioned to its abortion on Acclamation Day.
After the acclamation closed, Bowser noticed the after-effects band from the apparatus showed it hadn’t calm any votes.
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