“We are following election and industry standards”: This was the response by Georgia GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s spokesperson after election integrity advocates claimed officials failed to ensure that all absentee ballots were fairly counted in last week’s primary elections.
Raffensperger’s office is once again embroiled in controversy over his state’s new voting system. This time, election security advocates are alleging that mail-ballot tabulator scanners were discarding votes marked with X’s or check marks.
At least five counties are reporting this issue, but no formal investigation has been announced. Gabriel Sterling, a spokesperson for Raffensperger’s office, got into a Twitter spar with some of the advocates that raised the issue online and claimed that the issue was “likely” because of hand-marked paper ballots instead.
“And the only reason panels are seeing potential issues is the adjudication software we (the state) provided.” Sterling said in one of the tweets. (read more)
“I don’t know what happened. That’s all I can say”: A number of polling places in Georgia received election equipment at the last minute; quite a few voting machines stopped working; and, in some cases, the equipment never showed up.
At this point, it’s hard to gauge how bad the situation is in Georgia, especially because the state’s top election officials are denying that there are any problems to begin with. We can likely expect an even greater turnout during the November election, too, so officials are racing the clock to solve whatever the issue turns out to be. (read more)
It’s Not Just Georgia, Either: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia have one thing in common — some voters in their states will be using vulnerable online voting systems this year.
Cybersecurity experts recently published a report claiming that the OmniBallot, an online voting system sold by Democracy Live, relies on “a simplistic approach to Internet voting” and is vulnerable to cyber attacks. (read more)
Ranked-Choice Voting Gets Major Endorsement: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship issued a report last week endorsing ranked-choice voting as a way to boost voter participation.
The commission also gave a thumbs-up to replacing single-member congressional districts with multi-member districts. Basically, voters would elect three to five representatives instead of one. (read the report)
“A real and permanent injury to voters”: This is how voting rights groups are describing the ramifications of whether voters in Tennessee can cite fear of contracting COVID-19 in order to vote absentee.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a motion in the US District Court for Tennessee to uphold another judge’s ruling in favor of allowing this excuse. The state will hold its primary election on August 6. (read the motion)
WhoWhatWhy and Readers’ Picks of the Week:
- Hackers Are Already Screwing With the 2020 Election (Vanity Fair)
- LeBron James and Other Stars Form a Voting-Rights Group (New York Times)
- Michigan Voters Can Register for Absentee Ballots With New Online Tool (ABC 12)
- DeSantis Makes ‘Very, Very Unusual’ Appeal of Order Allowing Ex-Felons to Vote (Sun Sentinel)
- Iowa Legislature Adjourns After Passing Budget That Includes New Voter ID Requirements (Des Moines Register)