The question of whether Georgia’s electronic voting system has serious cybersecurity deficiencies that constitute a violation of voters’ constitutional right to cast ballots and have those votes counted accurately is expected to be decided in court early next year.
U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg issued a 135-page ruling late Friday in a long-running lawsuit by activists who want the state to abandon its electronic voting machines in favor of hand-marked paper ballots. The state had asked the judge to rule in its favor based on the arguments and facts in the case without going to trial, but Totenberg noted that “material facts are in dispute” that must be decided in court.
She has scheduled a trial for Jan. 9, meaning there will be no jury. But she also suggested that both sides should work together to find a solution.
“The Court cannot wave a magic wand in this case to address the multiple challenges to our democracy and electoral system in recent years, including those posed in this case,” she wrote. “But sensible, timely discussions and compromises in this case, coupled with immediate, informed legislative action, could certainly make a difference that benefits the parties and the public.”
The lawsuit was filed by several individual voters and the Coalition for Good Governance, which advocates for election security and integrity, against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and members of the State Election Board. It alleges that the current configuration of the state’s election system poses a threat to voters’ right to have their votes counted as cast.
An expert report emerged that identified vulnerabilities in the voting system used in Georgia, prompting a federal cybersecurity agency to issue a warning to jurisdictions using the devices and prompting some Republicans in Georgia to call for the devices to be abandoned. It also led to the discovery of a voting equipment breach in a rural southern Georgia county that has led to criminal charges against several people as part of the sweeping indictment in Fulton County against former President Donald Trump and 18 others.
At this link you will find the district court’s 135-page opinion urging the parties to agree before trial on some reasonable measures to protect the integrity of the vote in Georgia.