Georgia’s Voting Machines and Election Security

From the influence of voting-machine company lobbyists to concerns about election vulnerability, American Oversight is investigating Georgia’s overhaul of its voting system.

In July 2019, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that the state had awarded a $107 million contract to manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems to replace existing voting machines with a new “verified paper ballot system.” As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, both Dominion and the state’s former elections company, Election Systems & Software, had connections with Gov. Brian Kemp’s administration. Dominion lobbyist Jared Thomas had been a longtime political and campaign aide to Kemp, who previously served as secretary of state, and another lobbyist, Barry Herron, had worked for Diebold Election Systems, which had originally sold Georgia its electronic voting machines.

Georgia voters had complained about malfunctioning voting machines after the November 2018 midterm elections, even filing a lawsuit aimed at overhauling the state’s election system, including the electronic machines. But critics worry that the new electronic ballot-printing devices from Dominion won’t be much better, contending that hand-marked paper ballots remain the most secure voting method. In fact, the new devices were given a test run in six Georgia counties during the November 2019 election, and ran into a number of issues. And records we’ve already obtained showed that voter check-in devices used “1234” as their default password — an “exceptionally weak security measure.” (State officials have said the passwords have been changed.)

Elsewhere in the state, voters reported long lines and ballot issues, and concerns remain about the hidden costs of the new voting system, the state’s planned purge of 300,000 names from its voter rolls, and security weaknesses in voting equipment. With the 2020 elections looming and the security of U.S. voting systems less than certain, American Oversight is investigating state officials’ communications with Dominion Voting Systems and its subcontractor KnowInk, and is requesting records that could shed light on how the state is working to ensure secure and accurate elections.

 

OUR REQUESTS

  • Records of data, reports or summaries of November 2019 voting machine errors, including information regarding KnowInk Poll Pads, from the following counties: Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Decatur, Lowndes and Paulding;
  • Communications between Executive Counsel David Dove and representatives of Election Systems and Software (ES&S);
  • Communications between offices of the governor and secretary of state and Dominion Voting Systems lobbyists or representatives;
  • Communications between Director of the Center for Elections Systems Michael Barnes and ES&S contractors or subcontractors working on Georgia’s elections system in 2018 and 2019;
  • Georgia secretary of state records that identify all the names of ES&S contractors and subcontractors who worked on Georgia’s elections systems in 2018 and 2019, as well as records of all contracts and any payments made;
  • Communications that Secretary of State Raffensperger had with Jared Thomas, Barry Herron, or Dominion Voting Systems official Kay Stimson;
  • Communications from 2016 through 2018 between then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Thomas or Herron, as well as Kemp’s communications with them as governor;
  • Communications from 2017 between then-Secretary of State Kemp and Kennesaw State University election officials regarding the 2018 elections server; and
  • Records of any evidence or informational materials relied on by Secretary of State Raffensperger in dismissing a hacking conference’s report on election vulnerabilities.

Related Documents

December 4, 2019

Decatur County, Georgia, User Guide for Dominion Voting’s Election Equipment

Decatur County - Georgia
Agency Record
December 2, 2019

Open Records Request to Catoosa County in Georgia Regarding KnowInk Poll Pads

Catoosa County - Georgia
FOIA Request
November 18, 2019

Lowndes County, Georgia, Instructional Materials Regarding the KnowInk Poll Pad Electronic Poll Book

Lowndes County - Georgia
Agency Record
November 14, 2019

ORR to Georgia Secretary of State Seeking Communications with Dominion Voting Systems

FOIA Request
November 12, 2019

Open Records Request to Bartow County in Georgia Seeking Records Regarding KnowInk Poll Pads

Bartow County - Georgia
FOIA Request
November 12, 2019

Open Records Request to Carroll County in Georgia Seeking Records Regarding KnowInk Poll Pads

Carroll County - Georgia
FOIA Request
November 12, 2019

Open Records Request to Decatur County in Georgia Seeking Records Regarding KnowInk Poll Pads

Decatur County - Georgia
FOIA Request
November 12, 2019

Open Records Request to Lowndes County in Georgia Seeking Records Regarding KnowInk Poll Pads

Lowndes County - Georgia
FOIA Request
November 12, 2019

Open Records Request to Paulding County in Georgia Seeking Records Regarding KnowInk Poll Pads

Paulding County - Georgia
FOIA Request
November 4, 2019

NRR from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office Regarding Communications About the 2018 Elections Server

Georgia Secretary of State
Agency Reply
October 23, 2019

Open Records Request to Georgia’s Secretary of State for Records Regarding Election Insecurity in Georgia

Georgia Secretary of State
FOIA Request
October 17, 2019

Open Records Request to Georgia’s Secretary of State’s Office for Communications with Voting Systems

Georgia Secretary of State
FOIA Request
October 17, 2019

Open Records Request to Georgia’s Governor’s Office for Communications with Dominion Voting Systems

Georgia Secretary of State
FOIA Request
October 15, 2019

ORR to Georgia Secretary of State’s office Seeking Communications Regarding the 2018 Elections Server

Georgia Secretary of State
FOIA Request
September 24, 2019

ORR to GA SOS Seeking Communications with Election Officials and Any Elections Systems and Software Contractors

Georgia Secretary of State
FOIA Request
September 24, 2019

ORR to GA SOS Seeking Records Identifying Election Systems & Software Contractors from 2018 and 2019

Georgia Secretary of State
FOIA Request
September 24, 2019

ORR to GA SOS Seeking Records Reflecting Contracts and Payments to Election Systems & Software from 2015 Through 2019

Georgia Secretary of State
FOIA Request
September 10, 2019

ORR to GA GOV Seeking Communications with Voting Machine Company Lobbyists

Georgia Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
September 10, 2019

ORR to GA SOS Seeking Communications between Former Secretary Kemp and Voting Machine Company Lobbyists

Georgia Secretary of State
FOIA Request
September 10, 2019

ORR to GA SOS Seeking Communications between Secretary Raffensperger and Dominion Voting Systems Lobbyists

Georgia Secretary of State
FOIA Request
September 10, 2019

ORR to GA SOS Seeking Raffensperger Communications with Dominion Voting Systems Lobbyist

Georgia Secretary of State
FOIA Request
August 19, 2019

ORR to GA’s Office of the Governor Seeking Communications between David Dove and ES&S

Georgia Office of the Governor
FOIA Request