You are on page 1of 3

COALITION FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marilyn Marks
Marilyn@USCGG.org
704 552-1618

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

GEORGIA VOTERS ISSUE DEMAND LETTER TO
SECRETARY OF STATE KEMP TO USE PAPER BALLOTS IN
UPCOMING PRIMARIES

Plaintiffs seek to sideline voting system,
alleging inadequate security

Atlanta (April 17, 2018)—Coalition for Good Governance, a plaintiff in
the federal lawsuit against Georgia’s Secretary of State Kemp and State
Election Board, issued a Demand Letter on April 17 again urging state
officials to use hand-marked paper ballots to protect the security of the
upcoming 2018 primaries, runoffs and general elections. The letter laid out
three feasible methods of conducting 2018 elections using paper ballots
counted by optical scanners or hand counted in smaller jurisdictions. These
solutions can be immediately implemented with minimal expense.

Co-plaintiffs Ricardo Davis, Laura Digges, William Digges III, and
Megan Missett joined Coalition for Good Governance in making this most
recent request that Secretary Kemp and the State Election Board take
urgent measures to secure Georgia’s elections. The letter cites the actions of
Coalition for Good Governance and its members over the past year to
require that Kemp and the Board fulfill their legal responsibility to
decommission the flawed touchscreen voting machines and promptly
install a secure paper ballot system. The lawsuit seeks a court order to
require that the unauditable paperless touchscreen system be replaced by a
hand-marked paper ballot system. The April 17 Demand Letter seeks state
election officials’ compliance in advance of the court hearings that will take
place in the months ahead.

“The immediate stopgap solutions to secure Georgia’s 2018 primaries
and November general election are simple and inexpensive,” said Marilyn
Marks, Executive Director of Coalition for Good Governance. “The state has
1,000 paper ballot scanners currently dedicated to mail-in and provisional
ballots. As we stated in our letter to Secretary Kemp, those scanners are
available for tabulating paper ballots that should be used by all voters at the
polling places. Smaller counties could choose to hand count ballots if they
prefer. Voters need no training for marking paper ballots with a pen. There
is simply no excuse for Georgia’s failing to use equipment and know-how it
already has to immediately secure its 2018 elections. It is also likely
significantly less expensive than the use of the labor-intensive electronic
voting machines.”

Bruce Brown, one of the attorneys for Coalition for Good Governance,
added, “Our lawsuit seeks to vindicate the constitutional rights of every
Georgia citizen to not only cast a ballot, but cast a ballot that is accurately
counted and can be reliably tabulated with auditable election results. There
is no doubt that Georgia must modernize and secure its elections with the
adoption of a new voting system as soon as possible. However, there is no
reason to wait for a new system, when the current system includes the
equipment that can handle the paper ballots until a new system can be
carefully selected, funded and implemented. The state law certainly
authorizes the use of paper ballots. The interim measures recommended by
Coalition for Good Governance are not new. These practical, inexpensive
solutions were also recommended by the Coalition in last May’s Fulton
County Superior Court lawsuit prior to the Sixth Congressional District
runoff on June 20, 2017, but were rejected by Secretary Kemp. We hope
that he will promptly convene the State Election Board to take action to
adopt our suggestions in advance of the May 22, 2018, primaries to protect
all Georgia voters, without waiting for the federal court to order such
measures.”

The Demand Letter also asks Secretary Kemp to conduct a thorough
audit of the voter registration database prior to each 2018 election to
ensure that voters are not disenfranchised by errors in the registration
records. Coalition for Good Governance is concerned about the security of
Georgia’s voter registration records, given the security breaches during
2106 and 2017 that exposed voters’ personally identifying information on
the compromised election servers at Kennesaw State University’s Center for
Election Systems, as well as the physical theft of memory cards containing
those records. Given these security failures, the Coalition also suggests that
all Georgia voters promptly verify their voter registration online
at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do. Voters should check all of their
registration details, including districts in which they are eligible to vote,
and make a screen shot or print a copy to have available for reference when
going to the polls.

The lawsuit is pending in federal court in the Northern District of
Georgia (17cv2989) and Honorable Amy Totenberg is presiding. The above-
named plaintiffs’ proposed Third Amended Complaint and other related
information concerning this legal action may be found at
https://coalitionforgoodgovernance.org/current-projects/.

Coalition for Good Governance is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3)
organization focused on fair and transparent elections. The Coalition has
recently focused its resources on challenging Georgia’s unverifiable voting
system.
###