Press Release: Call For Handmarked Paper Ballots

(ATLANTA, GA.) – Ryan Graham, candidate for Lieutenant Governor and Chair of the Libertarian Party of Georgia is calling on the Georgia State Election Board to authorize the use of emergency paper ballot procedures in the 2022 election. Recent revelations that Georgia’s digital voting machine software has been compromised make Graham’s call to action urgent for all in-person voters.

Graham, along with other Libertarian, Republican, and Democratic candidates and officials, has signed a letter to the Board calling for voters to receive hand-marked ballots for 2022 – ballots that would leave a paper trail and enable transparent auditing, which Georgia’s computerized ballot marking devices conceal. “Empowering the public’s votes and ensuring votes are accurately counted is a fundamental pillar of good governance, and of my campaign.”

Georgia’s voting relies on electronic touchscreen software owned by Dominion Voting System. Libertarians and other transparency activists raised massive concerns before a Republican-controlled assembly adopted the machines, but in the intervening years, the stakes have shifted.  

First, reports of the Georgia Dominion software being susceptible to hacking cast doubt on the election process. Similar reports of “unauthorized access” to vote-counting software have been raised in Michigan and Colorado

Second, the ballot marking device (BMD) ballots are not verified nor able to be audited. The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is reviewing vulnerabilities with the BMD devices. Election security experts point to potentially undetectable manipulations and miscounting, using the BMD systems.

“The process has been made opaque and complicated on purpose,” Graham said, “to make it more difficult for voters to be heard.” Graham’s fellow candidates have raised similar concerns in the past two election cycles. “Hand-marked ballots are an accurate and secure way for people to vote. We have transparent methods where the voters’ intent is easy to determine – please pay attention to who wants the process to be  more vulnerable and less secure.”

Graham is working with a multi-partisan group of candidates to investigate and advocate the Election Board use hand-marked ballots (which are far less susceptible to manipulation, and can be cross-checked later), to increase voter confidence.

Electronically recorded, barcode-only voting also raises concerns about potential foreign – particularly Russian – meddling or hacking that might disrupt November’s elections or tallying. Federal government officials have called on states to defend their cyber-security: Georgia, according to Graham and other experts, has failed to do so.

In his time as Chair of LP Georgia, Graham has consistently called for handmarked, auditable paper ballots, as well as a ranked-choice voting system and ballot reform that would give Georgians more choices on every ballot. If transparency doesn’t improve, Graham argues, Georgians might never actually have a choice at all. 

Everyone is encouraged to visit Graham4GA.com, or connect on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, to learn more about issues, volunteer, donate, or connect to the campaign. 

PR: More voices and more choices in Georgia elections

(ATLANTA, GA.) –   The Libertarian Party of Georgia is fighting for its own candidates to appear on ballots despite the disapproval of incumbents even though one in three Georgia General Assembly candidates won’t have a single challenger, the two-party system won’t allow anyone else to offer Georgians a different choice. 

In a recent article in The Georgia Virtue it was identified that 30.3 percent of state Senate races and 26.1 percent of state Representative races are unopposed in both the Primary and General elections. “The Republican and Democratic party establishments are getting exactly what they want here,” says Libertarian Party of Georgia Chair and Lieutenant Governor candidate Ryan Graham. “Incumbent state Senators and Representatives are running unopposed in BOTH the primary and general election. Voters in those districts have literally no choice, and no representation. They already won. The voting doesn’t even matter.”

“Of course incumbents don’t want more challengers,” continued Graham. “Ballot access barriers are designed to discourage anyone running outside that partisan system, so we have people out there who want to run to improve their communities and then realize how effectively the game has been rigged,” says Graham. “You can’t have a fair and free election with only one candidate appearing on one-third of ballots. The two-party system wants to consolidate power, by robbing voters of literally any choice.”

Graham sees the ballot access law as voter disenfranchisement, because local partisan committees pre-screen who voters can choose between. “When only one or two candidates can seek a seat, the vast majority of Georgia’s diverse views aren’t being represented. Voters are deprived of the opportunity to choose, and to vote for a candidate who might be closer to their views,” Graham contends. “Elections should select representatives, not rubber-stamp a forgone conclusion. Very simply, we need more voices and more choices in our political process…not less.”

The Libertarian Party of Georgia has petitioned the 11th Circuit to review the pending  case challenging the existing ballot access laws en banc (meaning before all 12 of its judges). Ryan Graham is running for Georgia Lieutenant Governor, promising to “Strike the Root” and calling for meaningful reforms throughout the entire state. To learn more about the Graham campaign, please visit Graham4GA.com. If you have any questions or would like to contact Ryan directly, please email ryan@graham4ga.com

Atlanta’s Ryan Graham Seeks to “Strike the Root” in Lt. Governor’s Race

(ATLANTA, GA.) Libertarian Party of Georgia Chairman Ryan Graham announces his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor in 2022. The 36-year-old IT Project Manager is running on a wide range of issues, prioritizing criminal justice, education, health care, and election reforms. 

 “The two old parties have not lived up to the expectations of the voters, and continue to ignore policy issues important to Georgians,” says Graham. 

“State government wants to create ‘solutions’ but instead create unintended consequences that are often worse than the original problem,” Graham continues. That’s why his campaign slogan is “Strike the Root” – he intends to go after root causes of social issues, rather than try to treat symptoms, which solves nothing and invites both abuses of power and  bureaucratic waste. 

Topping Graham’s list of policy priorities is education reform. Two-thirds of Georgia public school students don’t read ‘proficiently’ for their grade level, and have fallen even farther behind during the pandemic. “The priorities of bureaucracies are very different from those of children and families,” Graham says. “We’re spending more money than ever, administering more tests, assigning more homework, requiring more hours, and none of it has improved outcomes. It’s time to do something fundamentally different, not just more of what we know doesn’t work.”

Graham is especially critical of standardized testing, which he says does not truly measure student aptitude or learning. Research shows high-stakes testing actually damages long-term learning by encouraging ‘teaching to the test,’ and neglecting harder-to-measure but more meaningful outcomes. The state has large, costly contracts with companies who create and score those tests, and Graham believes that money could be better spent on things that serve students, like innovating curricula to support students’ strengths and aspirations. A father of a school-age daughter himself, Graham wants more choices for all Georgia’s students. 

Graham’s candidacy calls for major reform into what he calls government overreach into the private lives and choices of citizens, especially as a response to COVID-19. “Number one, no vaccine mandates,” declares Graham. “The decision to receive a vaccine is between an individual and their healthcare provider;   no government has the authority to make that decision for you.” 

The Libertarian candidate’s views on personal autonomy carry over to the War on Drugs, where government’s insistence that it can control people’s choices has led to far greater social consequences than drug use itself. He believes Georgia should decriminalize drug possession and legalize cannabis,  as other states have done. Ending drug-war-era abuses of power (including militarized police, no-knock raids, and the seizing of property by police without any criminal charges or convictions), he says, will restore basic civil liberties Georgians have lost.

As a third-party candidate, Graham pays special attention to methods incumbents use to keep alternatives off the ballot and away from voters’ attention. He promotes a slate of reforms, including  fair ballot access laws, ranked choice voting, and hand-marked paper ballots to replace Georgia’s easily hacked and manipulated voting machines. “I want there to be more choices that represent more Georgians,” declares Graham. “If independents and minor parties are not actively blocked from ballots, and the voting rules are fairer,” Graham argues, “more people could  actually vote FOR someone who represents them and not just against the other guy.” 

Everyone is encouraged to visit the campaign’s website Graham4GA.com to learn more about issues, sign up to volunteer, make a donation, or message the campaign.