Secretary Of State Reviewing Petition To Reexamine New Voting System

Aug 19, 2019

The secretary of state's office is reviewing a petition signed by more than 1,400 people asking for another, deeper look at the state's new voting system. 

The petition, delivered Monday morning, alleges several issues with the state's certification process of the Dominion Voting System, which includes ballot-marking devices, precinct-level scanners, electronic poll books and the election management system.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified the machines Aug. 9 after a third-party company tested the equipment "against the requirements set forth for voting systems by the Election Assistance Commission 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines and the State of Georgia."

Georgia state law allows for any 10 or more Georgia voters to request the re-examination, as long as they foot the bill. State law also says the secretary of state's office must have that cost posted online, but it does not appear on their website.

The petition has more than 1,400 signatures, and state officials will be reviewing the signatures as well as the contents of the petition to decide how to proceed.

Several election integrity groups and Georgia voters organized the petition, claiming that the state's certification process was "deficient," the QR codes printed out by the ballot-marking devices make a voter's selection "unverifiable" and election results are not auditable, among other things.

Additionally, the petition points to Texas, where officials there did not certify a similar Dominion setup because of problems with both hardware and software. 

RELATED: Lawsuit Seeks To Stop Georgia From Implementing New Ballot-Marking Devices

In a statement, Raffensperger said that the allegations were false and not supported by facts. 

"Georgia required that every voting system be federally certified prior to any review of those systems during the RFP phase of the contract process," he said. "State certification was just completed, and it was a re-examination to confirm the accuracy of the federal certification."

Raffensperger also said that the complaints were "raised by activists who want the implementation of Georgia's new voting system to fail" and that his office is focused on rolling out the new ballot-marking devices in time for the 2020 presidential primary election on March 24.

Last week, a federal judge ruled the state must pilot a hand-marked paper ballot election system this fall and have it as a backup next spring in case the BMD rollout does not happen on time, and plaintiffs in the same lawsuit filed a new complaint challenging the use of BMDs in any election. 

The municipal elections for the rest of this year will be conducted on the 17-year-old touchscreen direct-recording electronic voting machines.