Authors of a petition for the re-examination of Georgia’s recently selected voting system are not backing down from their demands after the Secretary of State’s office said they would have to pay for the evaluation.
The office was presented with a petition on Monday from 1,450 voters requesting a second look at the new Dominion ImageCastX Voting System certified by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Aug. 9. Activists say it does not meet security standards or a new law authorizing ballot marking devices.
Raffensperger said the re-examination is a waste of time and resources, but he will do it as long as petitioners cover the costs.
“We have not examined the cost for re-examination because this system was just procured and certified,” he said.
Marilyn Marks, head of the nonprofit election integrity organization leading the effort, said the costs to citizens for a “do-over” of the system certification should be zero.
“That’s completely absurd,” said Marks, executive director of Coalition for Good Governance.
Marks said Raffensperger’s main duty is to ensure that state license holders follow rules and regulations, but he does not follow his own.
Marks and other supporting organizations are pushing back by gathering more signatures for the petition. Signatures are now up to nearly 1,800 as of Thursday, she said.
“These rules affect 7 million voters in the state,’’ she added.
Marks joined residents as they voiced their concerns about the voting system at an elections board meeting at the state capitol Wednesday before Raffensperger made his announcement about the costs.
Aileen Nakamura, a resident of Fulton County, said she thinks the certification was rushed so it could be ready for the primary election in March. The Dominion system was selected on July 29 and certified 11 days later.
“The rigorous testing process required under Georgia code must be performed for the 70,000 new devices to be used in 2020 – how long will that take?” she asked. “How long should that take?”
The petition comes off the heels of a judge’s ruling in a lawsuit against the state to replace its automated voting system with a hand-marked ballot option because of security fears of outside tampering. The judge ruled that the state has to switch to a paper ballot system by 2020.
Raffensperger selected the $106 million Dominion system to abide by House Bill 316, which calls for ballot marking devices across the state. Georgia currently has a direct-recording device.
Critics of the new system said it is just as insecure as the automated system because of its barcode reading component, which makes it susceptible to hackers.
Organizers of the petition, who also include Georgia Advancing Progress PAC, National Election Defense Coalition, the Libertarian Party of Georgia the Constitution Party of Georgia, said they plan to present several pages of legal and technical evidence that will show why the state should reject the system. The updated petition will be presented to the Secretary of State on Monday.
The Secretary of State Office’s could not be reached for additional comment.