Is Georgia’s election system secure?

Georgia News

A federal judge has denied a motion by Secretary of State Brian Kemp to dismiss a case against his office, which would require Georgia to move to paper ballots before November’s general election.  

This means the case, based around the insecurity of Georgia’s elections systems, is moving forward.

Pleadings by Secretary Kemp’s legal team refer to the experts saying Georgia needs paper ballots as “so called experts” who are only PhD candidates, hackers or low level functionaries.  They also use the term “luddite”

“I don’t think of myself as a luddite.”

In reality, Dr. Richard DeMillo holds nearly 50 years of expertise in computer science and cyber security, with a PhD from Georgia Tech, even serving as the university’s Dean of Computing.  

“I have an appreciation for the risks that the technology provides,” says DeMillo.

He says because he does understand the technology, he thinks Georgia has to throw it out.

“Like most people that look at it objectively, it’s about the worst in the country,” says DeMillo.

The Secretary of State’s office claims because the voting system isn’t online, it isn’t hackable. DeMillo says that’s wrong

“The internet is not the only communication channel. These machines are updated from servers. They’re programed from servers. Memory cards are transferred…”

While the Secretary of State’s team claims that we have not been hacked and such concerns are “paranoia”.

“It’s hard to say with a straight face that we haven’t been hacked, that no votes have been changed.  We simply haven’t looked.”

Remember the movie Home Alone?

“I ask people to use common sense. You would go in and check. There were bandits in the neighborhood, my door was open, is the silver still there? We haven’t done that. We haven’t even checked to see if there has been any breach of the systems. No forensic analysis.”

Even hacking aside, he says the software isn’t reliable.

“We’re using a technology designed for a 1990’s world in the year 2018.”

The solution he says is actually centuries old…and the Secretary of State’s attorneys say it could confuse voters.

“I don’t think they would have a problem using a magic marker to color in a bubble.  I’ve seen 5 year olds do it.”

Federal Judge Amy Totenberg will hear oral arguments on the case September 17th. Fewer than two months before the election.  

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