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How secure are Georgia’s Dominion election machines? Raffensperger refuses to testify

by WorldTribune Staff, December 28, 2023

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has reiterated on several occasions how he is confident in the security of the state's Dominion Voting Systems machines.

So why then, critics are asking, is Raffensperger doing everything he can to avoid testifying in a lawsuit filed by activists who want Georgia to ditch its electronic voting machines in favor of hand-marked paper ballots?

In November, U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg issued a 135-page ruling in the long-running lawsuit which questions whether Georgia’s electronic voting system has major cybersecurity flaws that amount to a violation of voters’ constitutional rights to cast their votes and have those votes accurately counted.

The lawsuit was filed by the Coalition for Good Governance and several individual voters against Raffensperger and members of the State Election Board.

The state is now appealing to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in an effort to keep Raffensperger from testifying.

A lawyer familiar with the case told James Magazine Online: “Raffensperger selected the system, repeatedly defends the system as secure, but now can’t take an hour or so in federal court to defend it.”

The electronic voting system Georgia currently uses was purchased from Dominion Voting Systems in 2019 and implemented statewide in 2020.

University of Michigan computer scientist J. Alex Halderman, an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, examined Dominion voting machines and identified vulnerabilities that he said could be exploited by bad actors. He has said the risks presented by those vulnerabilities were exacerbated when a computer forensics team hired by Trump allies copied data and software from election equipment in rural Coffee County in January 2021 and distributed it to an unknown number of people.

Georgia officials said they will not install a software update meant to address those vulnerabilities ahead of the 2024 election, saying it would be impractical to update all of the equipment by then.

Raffensperger's office said in a statement:

"The office also announced that there will be pilots of the recently Election Assistance Commission-certified version of Democracy Suite, 5.17, in 2023. This software has not been deployed in any election in any jurisdiction as of yet.

"The pilots will examine its full functionality in a real-world setting. Also, in reviewing the processes it will require an update of the nearly 45,000 pieces of voting equipment, along with the subsequent acceptance testing. This process will take tens of thousands of manhours. Therefore, the statewide move to 5.17 will occur <strong>following the 2024 election cycle</strong> (emphasis added). This will allow the state and counties to focus on executing municipal elections and running the Presidential cycle. It also allows the state to put together a thoughtful, thorough plan to roll out the latest software."

Halderman tweeted in June: “Astonishingly, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who has been aware of our findings for two years, just announced that the state will not get around to installing Dominion’s security patches until after the 2024 Presidential election.”

Halderman had noted earlier: "in September 2020, a court granted the Curling Plaintiffs access to one of Georgia’s touchscreen ballot marking devices (BMDs) so that they could assess its security. Drew and I extensively tested the machine, and we discovered vulnerabilities in nearly every part of the system that is exposed to potential attackers. The most critical problem we found is an arbitrary-code-execution vulnerability that can be exploited to spread malware from a county’s central election management system (EMS) to every BMD in the jurisdiction. This makes it possible to attack the BMDs at scale, over a wide area, without needing physical access to any of them."

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