During the primary elections in May, a precinct in Georgia raised eyebrows with at the Secretary of State’s office.
“Habersham County’s Mud Creek precinct in northeastern Georgia had 276 registered voters ahead of the state’s primary elections in May,” said an MSN report. “But 670 ballots were cast, according to the Georgia secretary of state’s office, indicating a 243 percent turnout.”
Georgia is one of only four states that uses voting machines statewide. The machines produce no paper record for voters to ensure that their votes were cast correctly, and are extremely difficult to audit.
“[C]ybersecurity experts have warned that there were security flaws on the state election website leading up to the 2016 contest that permitted the download and manipulation of voter information,” the report said.
Worse still, the software system linked to the machines also handles voter registration, and has produced a significant headache for voters.
“In one sworn statement, a voter explains that she and her husband, who were registered to vote at the same address, were assigned different polling places and different city council districts. In another, a voting machine froze on Election Day,” according to the report.
In several documented cases, voters showed up at their polling places only to be told that they were supposed to vote elsewhere. In urban areas, where polling places are clustered close together, this does not present as much of a problem as it does in rural ones where polling places may be miles apart.
Given that urban areas tend to vote Democrat, and rural ones tend to vote Republican, such problems could significantly hamper Republicans’ efforts in Georgia.
“Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems, which was responsible for running Georgia’s elections, was proved vulnerable by friendly cybersecurity experts both before and after the 2016 elections,” the report said.
“Voter information and other important data, which gets disseminated to polling places in Georgia’s 159 counties, was open to the public and could have been manipulated by bad actors, charged Logan Lamb, the first friendly hacker to notify the state of the issue. He sent that notification in August 2016, but the problem was not fully solved until March 2017.”
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