The Georgia voters behind the lawsuit want to preserve some of the old voting machines for inspection, allowing them to find out whether the machines were infected by viruses or malware, which they allege could have spread to the state's replacement voting system.
The secretary of state’s office has said the new voting system is secure and independent from its previous machinery.
Some of the plaintiffs offered a proposal to destroy two-thirds of the voting machines, but the two sides have not agreed on which ones to save or dispose.
“We’ve tried to work with them,” said David Cross, an attorney for a group of plaintiffs suing the state. “If we could at least do an analysis of a reliable statistical sample, we could see if the old system was compromised.”
All state agencies, including the secretary of state's office, are planning for 14% budget cuts in the upcoming fiscal year — more than $3.5 billion.
The secretary of state’s office is preparing to slice $3.2 million from its $24 million budget through a hiring freeze, licensing board changes and leaving some positions unfilled, Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said.
“There are so many ways we could spend money outside storage costs,” Fuchs said. “We could use that for fighting real security threats rather than activists' lawsuits.”