“The plaintiffs are flagging this as some apocalyptic scenario on social media, and it’s not. This is a very minor issue,” said Bryan Tyson, an attorney for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
The issue, discovered last week during pre-election equipment testing in Douglas and Richmond counties, occurred when the second column of candidates didn’t appear because of a technical problem with how touchscreens communicated with their underlying Android operating system, said Eric Coomer of Dominion Voting Systems. He said the problem only happened rarely, when users made selections in a specific pattern.
David Cross, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said making a critical software change shows that the state’s voting technology is vulnerable to problems.
“This is far bigger than we originally thought,” Cross told U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg. “It’s hard to imagine a more concerning scenario.”
He said the software upgrade is being made without adequate security testing or certification from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. But Coomer said the change is minor and doesn’t require recertification.
Election officials halted testing in the 77 counties where it had begun after they learned about the problem, said Gabriel Sterling, statewide voting system implementation manager.
New software will be distributed to county election offices on USB drives, and then they’ll be responsible for installing it on touchscreens as part of the testing process. A company reviewing the new software, Pro V&V, could give its approval by Tuesday, Sterling said.
The problem with the U.S. Senate race didn’t affect absentee ballots, which are already being returned to election officials.