Call To Use Hand Marked Paper Ballots

April 18, 2022
Dr. Janice Johnston
Ms. Sara Tindall-Ghazal
Mr. Edward Lindsey
Mr. Matt Mashburn


Dear Members of the State Election Board:

We the undersigned have a unique stake in the 2022 elections. We are candidates running for Georgia office or representatives of political parties nominating 2022 candidates. This is a multi-partisan effort to achieve fair elections for all candidates and voters who support them. Your immediate action is required to protect Georgia elections, to authorize statewide use of the Emergency Paper Ballot procedures with current optical scanners for in-person voting in pending 2022 elections.

Recent developments make it clear that Georgia faces unacceptable risk by requiring all in-person voters to use ballot marking devices to mark ballots. Unauthorized access to Georgia’s Dominion software allegedly occurred in Coffee County following the November 2020 election. Dr. Halderman’s sealed report documenting system vulnerabilities was filed with your experts on July 1, 2021, and federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) initiated a vulnerability assessment of the BMDs in late January. To date, state election officials have not responded to the elevated risk for 2022 elections. Meantime, voter confidence in Georgia elections has suffered.

We understand that the current Dominion Voting System can be easily reconfigured to produce transparent verifiable results, utilizing a simpler, less expensive configuration by invoking existing back-up balloting rules which have been used successfully in every election in emergency situations since deployment of the system. Georgia’s Emergency Paper Ballot configuration, using hand-marked ballots with the current precinct scanners, is reportedly the standard configuration for the Dominion Voting System in the vast majority of states using Dominion systems.

Voter confidence in Georgia is suffering because of a variety of factors such as those described in Appendix 1 of this letter. CISA is reviewing Georgia’s BMD touchscreen system’s identified vulnerabilities and has not yet issued its report of required software patches. That concern alone merits this Board’s prompt action to protect the pending 2022 elections. As State Election Board members, you have access to Dr. Halderman’s sealed report which reportedly details the vulnerabilities now being assessed by CISA. We call on you to act on your review of those findings to protect upcoming elections and mitigate the growing threats.

The need for your immediate action has intensified with recent credible reports of unauthorized individuals possessing Georgia’s Dominion Voting System software as well as the Dominion software used in Michigan and Colorado. Georgia’s risks are significantly greater than Michigan or Colorado’s risks given that those states have the “gold standard” of hand-marked paper ballots counted by optical scanners and frequent post-election audits to help mitigate such risks. Such mitigation is exactly what we call on you to do for the upcoming primary, runoffs, and general election. Mitigating Georgia’s alarming cyber-security risks will dramatically increase voter confidence.

We urge the State Election Board to inform the counties that the risks created by the circumstances described above and in Appendix 1 constitute an emergency requiring existing emergency balloting procedures using hand marked paper ballots. (Rule 183-1-12-.11.2(c)-(d))
We understand the Dominion system can be used in its standard configuration using hand marked ballots as the primary uniform method of voting, with touchscreens reserved for accessibility needs. Poll managers and workers are already trained in the emergency balloting procedures. Early voting locations as well as Election Day polling places are currently required to have an emergency supply of blank ballots in all appropriate styles for hand marking. (Rule 183-1-12-.01) This existing requirement supports the feasibility of our request, particularly if Dominion’s ballot-on-demand printing application is used for low volume ballot styles. Predictable high volume ballot styles can be commercially printed based on prior election usage. (See Appendix 1)

We also ask that you also require extensive post-election audits of the scanner tabulations of hand marked ballots to verify the outcomes of races. Together these steps will rebuild Georgia’s voter confidence by providing assurance that Georgia’s election outcomes reflect the will of the people.

Thank you for your prompt and timely review of our proposal, and thank you for your service to all Georgia voters.


Sincerely,

Libertarian Party of Georgia

Ryan Graham, Candidate for Lt. Governor

Ted Metz, Candidate for Secretary of State

Shane Hazel, Candidate for Governor

Colin McKinney, Candidate for Public Service Commissioner, District 2

Dave Raudabaugh, Candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture

Angela Pence, Candidate for US House, District 14

Emily Anderson, Candidate for Commissioner of Labor

Mark Mosley, Candidate for US House, District 8

Clinton Cowart, Candidate for Georgia House, District 165

Appendix 1 (Information supplied by Coalition for Good Governance)

Risks to 2022 Election and Voter Confidence

  • Alleged Dominion software breach/copying/theft in Coffee County. There are credible allegations of the unauthorized copying of the Dominion software from Coffee County, apparently facilitated by insiders in November 2020. After alleged unauthorized access to the
    software, the Coffee County machine recount was reportedly discrepant, causing the county board of elections to initially refuse to certify the presidential recount. In 2021, after the alleged breach, the SOS apparently seized the county election server containing Dominion software. The State Election Board disclosed in Court that an investigation was undertaken in late February 2022. Findings of this Board should promptly be made public.
  • Unauthorized copies of Dominion software threaten 2022 elections. Unauthorized copies of the Dominion software from Colorado and Michigan were released into the public domain. This facilitates election attacks by large number of would-be attackers with extended access to the software to develop and practice system hacks. Georgia Dominion software is also reportedly in unauthorized hands, although this is just becoming public information.
  • High risk electronic touchscreen system. CISA (a division of DHS) is reviewing the vulnerabilities of Georgia’s BMD system. There is no estimate of the time required for assessment, disclosure, software patches, EAC approval and installation in the BMD systems. Experts have issued grave warnings (details under court seal) of potential for undetectable vote manipulations.
  • Significant November 2020 vote tabulation discrepancies are subject to repetition in 2022. Unrebutted experts’ reports show that thousands of ballots were counted two or more times, or not at all, in the November 2020 election, although the reported discrepancies were said to be offsetting in the POTUS votes (although too many records are missing to estimate with certainty.) The root cause of the systemic inaccurate counting of ballots is unknown, because discovery has not been conducted to date. The causes may include software bugs, malware, machine malfunctions, human error, and intentional double and triple scanning.
  • The November 2020 POTUS audit proved that Georgia audits do not detect tabulation discrepancies. Political leaders and state officials are generally unaware of the significant audit failures because Secretary Raffensperger has declared the audits to be a success, while not reporting the significant audit discrepancies detected. Thousands of votes were inaccurately recorded in the audit records, but were not investigated nor corrected.
  • BMD ballots proven to be unverified, unauditable records. Secretary of State commissioned research to determine whether voters accurately verified the computer-marked ballots. The results demonstrated that voters do not adequately verify their ballots. This finding is consistent with experts’ previous reports.
  • Russian cyber-security threats are escalated. Federal government officials warn that threats of Russian election hacking have increased and urge defensive measures. Georgia is an attractive and easy target given the unusual statewide uniformity, the preponderance of BMD-generated ballots, and central programming of the system, and the national importance of the high profile 2022 races for US Senate and Governor, and low voter confidence that exists today.

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