In Fear of Voting Machine Hacks, Georgians Seek Paper Ballots
Georgia voters fearing meddling with electronic voting machines may find out soon whether they’ll be going back to paper ballots in a November election, according to Bloomberg.
A good-government group and several voters claim in a lawsuit that Georgia’s paperless system is at such great risk that the Republican-led state is violating residents’ constitutional rights by failing to fix the problem, even after Congress and the Justice Department flagged the system as ripe for abuse.
U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, held a hearing in Atlanta that lasted into the evening. She said she’ll soon issue an order on the group’s request for a paper ballot.
Georgia’s election databases and 27,000 touchscreen voting machines could be hacked to erase valid registrations, add fake voters and even switch votes to decide which candidate wins, the group said in the lawsuit. Georgia is an inviting target, they say, because its machines are easy to hack and the state has a large number of registered voters, about 7 million.
The cost of printing ballots alone "would soar by orders of magnitude," the state said in a filing, adding that a massive deployment of optical scanner machines would also be needed."At this late date, converting to an exclusively paper-ballot election cannot be done without compromising the public interest," the state said.