Experts warn Georgia's new electronic voting machines vulnerable to potential intrusions, malfunctions

Experts warn Georgia's new electronic voting machines vulnerable to potential intrusions, malfunctions
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Experts are reportedly warning that Georgia's new electronic voting machines are at risk of intrusions and malfunctions, as the state grapples with election security issues.

Georgia Institute of Technology computing professor Richard DeMillo told the The Washington Post that bystanders could see the machines' screens during his visit to polling places north of Atlanta in November.

Some counties also experienced programming issues that delayed voter check-ins while others noted machine shutdowns, the Post reported Monday.

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DeMillo told the newspaper that state officials "seem to be structurally unable to confront the fact that the voting system in Georgia is at risk.”

According to the paper, the state has had to deal with election security issues including bugs in software, insecure file sharing and an exposed voter registration database.

Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesExperts warn Georgia's new electronic voting machines vulnerable to potential intrusions, malfunctions Georgia restores 22,000 voter registrations after purge Stacey Abrams group files emergency motion to stop Georgia voting roll purge MORE, a spokesperson for Georgia's secretary of State, pushed back on Thursday in a statement to The Hill.

"Georgia's secure paper ballot system has performed well despite the naysayers," Jones said. "Those who are criticizing our work are a loud and tiny fringe. Election and security officials who deal in the real world know and understand that Georgia's system is secure and our office works everyday to keep it that way.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger argued in a court filing this year that concern over election security was a “remote, unfounded speculation” and said that the state had “a safe and secure voting system,” according to the Post.

A November report on the pilot usage of the state's system from the secretary of State's office found 45 incidents out of 27,482 votes, an incident rate of 0.164 percent.

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"Further, nearly all issues were caused by human error or interaction which can be mitigated through training or identified through testing," the report said.

The Post reported that Raffensperger argued in a court filing this year that concern over election security was a “remote, unfounded speculation” and said that the state had “a safe and secure voting system.” 

The alleged issues follow a contentious election in 2018, in which Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams narrowly lost to now-Gov. Brian Kemp (R). Democrats have claimed that voter disenfranchisement contributed to Abrams's loss.

Updated on Dec. 26 at 2:48 p.m.