An election transparency group has called for Georgia to abandon electronic voting in next week’s election. (CASEY SYKES / CASEY.SYKES@AJC.COM)

Group calls for state to abandon voting system in next week’s election

The executive director of a national election transparency advocacy group has written an open letter to Georgia lawmakers urging them not to use the state’s current voting system in next week’s election.

Marilyn Marks, executive director with the Coalition for Good Governance, said that she believes the state’s voting system is compromised and election workers should instead begin using paper ballots in the Nov. 7 elections. The Charlotte-based group is suing the state to force it to overhaul its election technology.

Marks’ letter comes a few days after it became public that a databank maintained by the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University was erased in July.

“The disclosures of the last several days expose the fact that the voting system is compromised and cannot be relied on to produce accurate results,” Marks wrote in her letter.

KSU officials said the wipe happened after the FBI determined the server in question had not been compromised. The FBI also made a copy of all of the information on the server, KSU officials said.

The KSU center has helped run Georgia’s elections for the past 15 years, but it has fallen under increased scrutiny since a private cybersecurity researcher discovered security lapses that could have exposed more than 6.5 million voter records and other sensitive information.

A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Brian Kemp said last week that the office stood behind the results from elections held last November and earlier this year.

“As soon as we found out about (possible server vulnerabilities in March) we changed our operations so that we didn’t have to worry about the issues that KSU was experiencing,” Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce said last week.

But Marks doesn’t buy that explanation.

“Once you know that server’s been compromised, you must assume that every other piece of equipment it touched has been compromised as well,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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