Dominion voting machines, which have drawn scrutiny over security concerns during the November 3 elections, ironically made their entrance into use in Georgia this year after concerns were raised about the sanctity of past elections.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in an undated press release that he had selected Dominion Voting Systems’ new verified paper ballot system to be in operation for the March 24, 2020 presidential primary.
“Elections security is my top priority,” Raffensperger said at the time.
The glitch-prone software was used in all 159 of Georgia counties, The Tennessee Star reported Tuesday. Dominion classified their presence in Georgia as a “statewide voting system rollout.” Dominion allegedly has caused delayed voting and reporting results in Gwinnett County, Morgan County, and Spalding County.
Raffensperger selected Dominion after U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg in 2019 ordered the state to stop using direct-recording electronic voting machines, NPR reported in August 2019. The judge also told Georgia to create a plan to “address errors and discrepancies in the voter registration database” and provide paper copies of poll books at each voting precinct.
Georgia was sued in 2017 over allegations that the direct-recording electronic voting machines were not secure and were vulnerable to hacking, NPR said.
Dominion won the bid to provide a $90 million system, GPB reported in July 2019. That system included: an electronic poll book for voters to check in; an ImageCast X Ballot-Marking Device for voters to touch their selections, which then get printed on a paper ballot; and an ImageCast Precinct Polling Place Scanner to scan and store the paper ballot for counting.
Dominion says its paper ballots included a barcode that is scanned, an image of the ballot and a summary for voters, GPB reported. Any recounts or audits would be conducted with the actual text of a voter’s selection, not the barcode.
On Dec. 19, 2019, Raffensperger said he was extending the registration of about 22,000 people whose registration had been cancelled as part of a regular, legally mandated maintenance effort. The people had not contacted the voter registration system from January-May 2012.
A 1993 federal law requires states to maintain their voter-registration list. Georgia is one of nine states that cancel the registration of people who have not had contact with the registration system for a period of time and have not responded to mail sent to their last known address asking for confirmation, a process spelled out in decades-old state law and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We are proactively taking additional steps to prevent any confusion come the day of the election,” Raffensperger said in December.
Confusion apparently came on Election Day, however.
A GOP poll watcher reported that officials allowed workers to use ballot machines that were missing security seals in Gwinnett County, Georgia, The Star reported Tuesday.
Georgia Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler called for Raffensperger to resign, accusing him of failing “to deliver honest and transparent elections,” The Hill reported.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
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