FILE - Georgia voting system

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger hosted a roundtable on election security Aug. 6. There, attendees had an opportunity to test out the Dominion Voting ballot marking devices.

A group of voting rights advocates and voters filed a petition Monday with the Georgia Secretary of State's Office asking to re-examine a new voting system set to be used beginning in 2020.

The petition details six areas of concern about the new system's certification process.

The Coalition for Good Governance sent the petition Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger with the support of the Georgia Advancing Progress PAC, Libertarian Party of Georgia, Constitution Party of Georgia and National Election Defense Coalition.  Advocates also filed a petition on behalf of 1,450 voters from 100 Georgia counties demanding a review of the new system.

Raffensperger announced the selection of Dominion Voting System in late July as the paper-ballot replacement for Georgia’s electronic system, which has been in use since 2002. Under Georgia law, Raffensperger has to review the process for selecting Dominion when faced with opposition from at least 10 voters.

The petition to Raffensperger follows a new lawsuit filed on Friday that claims the new voting system is just as insecure as the current system.

“It appears the Secretary of State cut some corners to rush the certification of a new voting system,” said Susan Greenhalgh, vice president of policy and programs for the National Election Defense Coalition. “For years the Georgia Secretaries of State have ignored the calls for secure, auditable elections provided by paper ballots. The new $100 million voting system was rushed through certification and still fails to provide voters with a trustworthy, auditable voting system.”  

Critics say the Dominion Voting System still violates voters' rights because of its barcode process.

“The new system prints a barcode on the ballot summary card and the scanner reads that barcode to generate vote tallies," representatives for Coalition for Good Governance wrote in a news release. “Humans cannot read barcodes, and cannot know for whom they are voting when choices are embedded in barcodes.”

The plaintiffs also argue in the lawsuit that the replacement system is just as much of a risk to cybercriminals as before because of its electronic components.

In the original lawsuit first filed in October 2018, the plaintiffs asked a judge to ban the state’s electronic system because of its security risks. Russian interference in the 2016 elections and a breach in the state’s election system were of grave concern for the petitioners of the lawsuit. The judge ruled on Thursday that the state could continue its fall elections with the current system, but the Dominion system has to be used thereafter.

But plaintiffs in the new lawsuit claim that the Dominion system also has recorded cybersecurity concerns.

Texas in February failed to certify the same Dominion system because of issues with its software, the new complaint states.

Raffensperger’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for five years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.