South Ga. group rallies in Lowndes Co. to push for paper ballots in future elections

South Georgia group rallies in Lowndes Co. to push for paper ballots in future elections
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 11:21 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Election integrity will likely remain a controversial issue right through the 2024 election. Some experts believe Georgia’s Dominion Voting Systems are vulnerable to hackers and need to be upgraded. But Georgia election officials disagree.

The 2020 election controversies are still alive. That’s why some groups are pushing for paper ballots in 2024.

“There’s plenty of evidence in Georgia in Coffee and Dekalb where the machines counted, but when we did the hand count, it was not the same number. And they couldn’t get the machines to make the same number,” Cheri Whitney, a Lowndes County resident, said.

Georgia is the center of controversy over the last presidential election, with former President Donald Trump and others being indicted for an alleged election conspiracy. Video from 2021 shows reportedly tied to the Trump team allegedly copying election data in Coffee County.

Deb Cox, supervisor of elections in Lowndes County, commented on the group’s efforts to call for paper ballots saying, “Only State Legislators have the ability to change Election laws – not local Boards of Elections, not County Commissioners. The one county (Athens Clark) that tried to use paper ballots resulted in SEB Case 2020-005, which is available for public review.”

A group of concerned citizens are pushing for hand-marked, hand-counted, paper ballots to be returned in the 2024 election. They spoke out at the Lowndes County Judicial building on Tuesday, critical of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s support of Dominion Voting Machines.

“He wants us to vote in the 2024 elections on machines that are known to be hackable and insecure. They’re actually easily hackable, according to Mr. Halderman, the voting machine expert,” Diane Cox, a concerned citizen of Lowndes County, said.

That report came from University of Michigan Computer Science Professor Alex Halderman.

The debate between having voting machines and paper ballots has been a hot topic since the 2020 election.

Raffensperger addressed Dominion voting security concerns in a letter to the Georgia Assembly saying:

“Is it possible for a team of bad actors to break into Georgia’s 2700 voting precincts, install malware that changes election outcomes on 35,000 pieces of equipment, and sneak back out -all the while being undetected and leaving no trace? I’ll put it this way: It’s more likely that I could win the lottery without buying a ticket.”

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

But the theoretical loophole is there. And if Georgia has another close election, it’s clear Dominion Voting Systems will be the center of any controversy.