National News

Georgia Secretary of State's office: "We look forward to our day in court."

Posted July 6

— A spokeswoman for Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp indicated Thursday that Kemp is eager to show a jury why there should not be a rematch between Karen Handel and Jon Ossoff in the 6th District Congressional race.

The plaintiffs, meanwhile, demonstrated for reporters why they believe their case lawsuit merit.

A diverse group of Georgia voters, along with a nonprofit government watchdog group, filed a lawsuit Monday in Fulton County Superior Court demanding that the results of the June 20th special election runoff be tossed out and requesting a new election using a paper ballot system. The suit names as defendants Kemp, local elections supervisors who oversaw the runoff election, and Kennesaw State University's Center for Election Systems and its director, Merle King.

It's not the first time the group has filed suit. A lawsuit filed just before the June 20 election demanded paper ballots, alleging that Georgia's 15-year-old voting machines had no way of verifying voters' choices. A judge dismissed that suit.

The plaintiffs filed a second suit July 3 alleging new cybersecurity issues in Georgia's voting system that came to light on June 14. That's when a cybersecurity researcher said he discovered that for months, Georgia's voting system had been open on the internet for access by anyone.

The new suit requests a jury trial.

"It's about the fact that Georgians deserve a system that is reliable, verifiable and they can have confidence in," said Marilyn Marks, a North Carolina Republican who serves as executive director of Coalition for Good Governance, one of the plaintiffs.

At a news conference Thursday, Marks asked former Hewlett Packard CTO and current Georgia Tech computer science professor Richard DeMillo to demonstrate how he thinks Georgia's machines are vulnerable to the possibility that someone could corrupt their PC cards. He compared it to sharing needles. A hacker could potentially corrupt an internet-connected computer that contained one of the cards. That card could then be used to corrupt other machines.

The plaintiffs said another problem with Georgia's voting machines is that there's no paper trail -- no "receipt" -- that verifies a voter's vote. Replacing the machines with optical scanners, they said, would cost the state of Georgia less than the June 20th election did.

Ricardo Davis, another of the plaintiffs, is the Georgia chairman of the conservative Constitution Party. He said if the new suit is unsuccessful, he hopes it's enough to shine light on the vulnerability of Georgia's voting system.

"We elect a new secretary of state next year," said DeMillo. "I would hope that this puts on the front line of the discussion of the issues of the secretary of state has to deal with is cleaning up what we have here in Georgia."

Candice Broce, a spokeswoman for Secretary Kemp released the following statement Thursday:

"This issue has already been litigated. This group's last lawsuit was tossed out and their claims found to be meritless. We look forward to our day in court."

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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