Hand-Marked Paper Ballots for Georgia

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Rocky Mountain Foundation
Rocky Mountain Foundation signed this petition

Petition to Georgia’s State Election Board for HAND-MARKED Paper Ballot Elections

We the undersigned, respectfully petition the State Election Board to immediately require the use of hand-marked paper ballots in all Georgia elections.

Additionally, we request that the State Election Board immediately conduct an audit of the voter registration rolls to ensure that all voters are properly assigned to the electoral districts in which they are eligible to vote.

We ask that you consider the following points that support the requirement of secure hand-marked paper ballots and accurate voter assignment to electoral districts for all Georgia elections:

The Federal Appeals Court upheld Judge Amy Totenberg’s ruling that said Georgia’s electronic voting system poses a “concrete risk” to secure elections.  The decision from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows the voting system lawsuit to move forward.  (February 8th, 2019)

U.S. national security agencies, DHS, voting system experts, cybersecurity experts, and the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence agree that paper ballots are required for a secure election.

Judge Amy Totenberg may have denied the preliminary injunction for hand-marked paper ballots in the 2018 General Election.  However she clearly recognized the inability of GA election officials to provide voters with a secure, accurate and fair, election. ✨"While Plaintiffs’ motions for preliminary injunction are DENIED, the Court advises the Defendants that further delay is not tolerable in their confronting and tackling the challenges before the State’s election balloting system. The State’s posture in this litigation - and some of the testimony and evidence presented - indicated that the Defendants and State election officials had buried their heads in the sand. This is particularly so in their dealing with the ramifications of the major data breach and vulnerability at the Center for Election Services, which contracted with the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as the erasure of the Center’s server database and a host of serious security vulnerabilities permitted by their outdated software and system operations."✨

One of the most noted experts in the world on statistical anomalies, Phillip Stark, professor of statistics and associate dean of mathematical and physical sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, believes the results of Georgia’s 2018 election data is highly suspect.  “The disparity in undervote rates by voting technology strongly suggests that malfunction, misconfiguration, bugs, hacking, or other error or malfeasance caused some DREs [direct recording electronic voting machines] not to record votes in the lieutenant governor’s contest,” Stark explained, according to court documents.  Stark is a renowned expert in post-election election auditing and voting statistics that has consulted in state and federal courts, testified before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and published more than 190 articles and books.

Georgia uses touchscreen voting machines which cannot be audited, nor can the election results be verified.

Georgia's SAFE Commission was tasked with providing a formal legislative recommendation on the type of voting system that should replace the current Diebold DRE voting machines and IGNORED their own appointed expert's recommendation for hand-marked paper ballots with risk limiting audits.

Georgia's SAFE Commission voted against their own experts to recommend another 100% unverifiable, electronic voting system with the ability to disguise all voter intent within a barcode instead of human-readable marks, to replace the current unverifiable voting system. 

Hand-marked paper ballots are simple for voters to use and can be rapidly counted by optical scanners.

Georgia officials already use paper ballots and optical scanners for mail-in and provisional ballots and can also use them for polling place ballots in a near seamless transition while saving millions in taxpayer dollars.

Hundreds of voters have been disenfranchised because they are assigned to the wrong electoral districts.

Approximately 127,000 fewer votes were recorded in the 2018 GA Lt. Governor's contest than experts estimate should have been cast.  Statistical analyses and experts’reports expose a dramatically increased number of missing
votes (undervotes or drop-off in votes compared to the top-of-the-ballot contest) for the Lt. Governor’s contest in primarily African American neighborhood precincts.

Voting machine defects and misprogramming are the likely culprits responsible for the significant number of missing votes. Some voters reported touchscreen machines that did not properly display the Lt. Governor’s contest, and others reported machine screen malfunction and “vote flipping” when they attempted to vote.

Appropriate ADA-compliant accommodations should be made for voters who are unable to hand mark paper ballots with ballot marking devices.

We understand that the State Election Board has been supplied with detailed information supporting the feasibility of the immediate use of hand marked paper ballots. We respectfully request your immediate action to stop the use of touchscreen voting machines and protect future elections with hand-marked paper ballots and a thorough audit of voter electoral district assignments.

 


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