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COALITION FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact: Marilyn Marks
Marilyn@CoalitionForGoodGovernance.org
704 552-1618

Tuesday July 4, 2017

GEORGIA VOTERS FILE LEGAL CHALLENGE TO JUNE 20 SPECIAL


ELECTION AND USE OF UNSECURED VOTING SYSTEM

Voters seek to sideline voting system, alleging indeterminable


results

Atlanta (July 4, 2017)Coalition for Good Governance and six Georgia


voters filed a lawsuit yesterday, alleging that numerous failures of the
voting system resulted in an indeterminable outcome in the June 20
Special Election for Georgias 6th Congressional District. The lawsuit
(Curling v. Kemp et al.), seeks to set aside the results of the Special Election
because demonstrated voting system failures cause the reported results to
be in considerable doubt. The lawsuit names Secretary of State Brian Kemp,
the State Election Board, all county election officials conducting the Special
Election, Kennesaw State Universitys Center for Election Systems, and its
director, Merle King, as defendants. The plaintiffs requested a jury trial in
the case.

The plaintiffs allege that the security of Georgias touchscreen voting


system was severely compromised, violated Georgias election code, and
cannot be legally used to conduct elections. As a result, an accurate election
result could not be determined for the June 20 election. Georgias election
code permits voters to initiate a legal challenge (an election contest) when
irregularities or officials misconduct casts doubt on the reported election
outcome.
Donna Curling, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, explained, Georgia voters
have been concerned for years about the major vulnerabilities in the un-
auditable system and the very real risk of pervasive failure in an election
that cannot be rectified. That is exactly what happened June 20, when
voters unknowingly cast their ballots in a system that had been
compromised so severely that the impacts cannot be evaluated. Georgians
must demand that officials honor our constitutional rights to fair and
legally conducted elections. This lawsuit is our next major step in that
process.

Marilyn Marks, Executive Director of the organizing plaintiff Coalition for


Good Governance, added, As the facts of the case are presented, Georgia
voters will be appalled at the recklessness with which officials handled their
votes. Secretary Kemp and all the named election officials received repeated
grave warnings from cybersecurity experts concerning the likely
compromise of the system and the compelling need to use paper ballots.
Officials irresponsibly ignored the compelling evidence of the problems and
concealed them from the public as they made false assurances about the
security of the system.

Computer scientists, expert in voting systems, warned Secretary Kemp and


Georgia officials that because of the security failures that created extensive
internet exposure of the system components, the system must be presumed
to be compromised and unsafe for use in the Special Election. The sound
warnings were ignored, as officials committed to use a voting system that
did not meet Georgias election laws nor the most basic common sense
computer security standards.

Richard DeMillo, Georgia Tech computer science professor and a former


Dean, Director of the Information Security Center, and Hewlett Packard
CTO, who has extensive technical knowledge of Georgias voting system,
stated, I worry that what we have here in Georgia is the Titanic Effect. We
have a Secretary of State who thinks Russian election hacking is fake news
and is dismissive of system vulnerabilities. Georgia officials are convinced
the states election system cannot be breached. Shades of the unsinkable
ship. They have neglected to give us life boats. In this case, life boats would
come in the form of a fail-safe system designed so that in case of a
catastrophe Georgia voters can easily verify that reported vote totals match
voter intent. It is the sort of common-sense approach that first-year
engineering students learn. Other states have that capability. Inexplicably,
Georgia does not.

Curling, DeMillo, and 12 other Georgia voters, concerned about the voting
systems vulnerability and unreliable design, urgently requested Secretary
Kemp and the State Election Board on May 10 and again on May 17, May
19, and June 2 to immediately re-examine the voting system and sideline it
for the Special Election because of known serious security concerns. Their
demands and the warnings of national experts were ignored.

On June 14, the extensive nature of Georgias voting system vulnerability


became national news when Politico reported the fact that the entire system
had been open for months on the internet for access by anyone.
Cybersecurity researchers found open access to system information
including passwords, private voter registration information, ballot
programming software, and evidence that Georgia's Center for Election
Systems at Kennesaw State was transmitting key programming information
to election officials over the internet. Georgia officials failed to inform the
public of the system failures and conducted the election by using the unsafe
system.

Plaintiffs allege that, just as computer scientists warned before the Special
Election, the compromised system was incapable of producing reliable and
certifiable results, stating that the system cannot be presumed to have been
safe or legal for accepting votes. The Georgia voters bringing this lawsuit
view this litigation as an important step in requiring that the unverifiable
touchscreen system be decommissioned as several other states have done.

The suit seeks to overturn the reported results of the Special Election and to
order a new election, as well as requiring Secretary Kemp to re-examine the
system and prohibit its use in the upcoming November municipal elections.

In light of these and other threats to the legitimacy of elections in Georgia,


voters and legislators have been asked to trust the word of officials that our
votes are counted as cast. That is unacceptable for democratic voting
systems. They must be transparent and verifiable, said Donna Price, a
plaintiff and a director of citizens activist organization, Georgians for
Verified Voting.
In addition to Curling, Price and Coalition for Good Governance, the
plaintiffs comprise a diverse group of Georgia voters, including Ricardo
Davis, Laura Digges, William Digges III, and Jeffrey Schoenberg.

A press conference is planned for Thursday morning, July 6 at the Georgia


State Capitol. Details will be provided shortly.

The Coalition for Good Governance is a non-partisan, non-profit


organization focused on fair and transparent elections. Formerly known as
Rocky Mountain Foundation, it was the organizing plaintiff in a related
lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court May 25, 2017, Curling v.
Kemp et al. (2017CV290630).
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