Q: Georgia was called out as one of only two states using a company’s fault-ridden voting machines in a Charlie Rose interview. Why is this state still using Diebold voting machines?
—Dave Crites, Decatur
A: Georgia’s system is “perhaps the most secure voting system in the nation,” Jared Thomas, a spokesman for Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, told Q&A on the News in an email. It is the only jurisdiction in the country that uses the GEMS 1.18.22G, a unique version of the Election Management System (EMS) that was created for the state. The system uses source code unique to Georgia, and it is federally and state certified. It was tested and certified by the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) ’90 Voting System Standard (VSS) prior to use in Georgia. It has been tested by The Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University and certified by the Georgia Secretary of State. These tests and certifications address the accessibility, usability, functionality and security of the system. It also was reviewed by Wyle Labs, a federally certified Voting System Test Lab (VSTL), in 2009. State Election Board rules require all units to be sealed and stored securely, and every county election office’s storage procedures were reviewed during site visits and found to be in compliance with state requirements. These procedures include a rigorous chain-of-custody requirement that accounts for every device when it leaves the office to go precincts or for repairs. Georgia has “conducted over 3,500 elections and cast over 40,000,000 votes on this system. It is reliable and secure,” Thomas wrote.
Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (include name, phone and city).