Cybersecurity experts critical of proposed electronic voting system

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This week is your last chance to make your voice heard to the commission in charge of recommending how Georgia changes its elections.

Cybersecurity experts are critical of some commission members who want to switch to a new kind of electronic voting machine that prints a barcode receipt.  

Experts say those machines can still be hacked and the printed barcodes are useless because humans can’t read barcodes.

“You can’t read it. The idea behind barcodes is it allows the vendor to charge for technology to read the barcodes and it adds no actual value to the voting process.  What you’re being asked to do is to verify that the ballot is being counted is being cast, but you have to be able to read the ballot to do that.  We can’t read barcodes, we can’t read QR codes.  It becomes an unusable receipt.”

They say the machines would cost tens of millions of dollars more than paper ballots.

“This commission is going to be deciding the kind of elections that we hold in Georgia for the next 30 years,” says Dr. Richard DeMillo, Cybersecurity expert at Georgia Tech. “We know the issues we’ve had with non secure, non transparent election technology for 15 years.  The result of the work is going to determine whether we continue that bad pattern or we move to the forefront of the nation.”

Dr. DeMillo says this issue isn’t about either political party, but about democracy.

“This is a democratic issue — little D.  This is an issue of how we conduct our democratic processes.  Just because today one party or another is advocating for a particular piece of technology doesn’t mean tomorrow that’s not going to change.”

The SAFE commission is meeting Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Macon.

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