The June 20 special Georgia 6th congressional district runoff election between Republican Karen Handel and liberal Democrat, Jon Ossoff, in which Handel won the 6th congressional district election to become the first Republican congresswoman to be elected from Georgia, has Democrats, once again crying foul and has launched a new federal lawsuit.
A group of Georgia voters and a Colorado-based watchdog organization, Coalition for Good Governance filed a lawsuit Monday asking a judge to overturn the results of last month’s 6th Congressional District special election and scrap the state’s voting system, the Washington Examiner reported.
The complaint, filed in Fulton County Superior Court, alleges that state and local election officials ignored warnings for months that Georgia’s centralized election system — already known for potential security flaws and lacking a paper trail to verify results — had been compromised and left unprotected from intruders since at least last summer, casting doubt on Republican Karen Handel’s 3.8-point win over Democrat Jon Ossoff in the most expensive House race in the nation’s history.
The plaintiffs — including Colorado nonprofit Coalition for Good Governance and Georgia voters from both major political parties[Unconfirmed Republicans) and a conservative third party[Name of Party unknown] — charge that recent revelations about a security hole on a computer server used to run Georgia elections only amplified longstanding concerns about the state’s antiquated voting equipment and its susceptibility to hackers.
“We aren’t questioning one candidate over another,” lead plaintiff Donna Curling told Colorado Politics. “We’re saying it’s impossible to know.”
“We are in a completely different environment of cybersecurity threats than when this equipment was purchased 15 years ago,” said election integrity activist Marilyn Marks, who heads the foundation spearheading the lawsuit and has been a persistent thorn in the side of Colorado election officials for years. (She recently moved to the East Coast for family reasons and changed the name of the nonprofit from the Rocky Mountain Foundation to Coalition for Good Governance.)
In Colorado, Marks led the charge on numerous complaints and legal challenges over voting matters — including one treat voted ballots as public records under the Colorado Open Records Act, a 2012 federal lawsuit to remove bar codes from Colorado ballots because of privacy concerns and another last year that sought to overturn the Colorado GOP’s delegate selection process to the Republican National Convention.
The Georgia lawsuit isn’t alleging the election system has been hacked, but computer security experts argue that the state’s voting equipment and computers have been at risk of intrusion for so long that election officials must assume they’ve been compromised. And while federal authorities have said there’s overwhelming evidence that Russian hackers attempted to meddle in last year’s presidential election, the plaintiffs in the Georgia lawsuit aren’t suggesting their concerns include the Russians, although they maintain last year’s events should raise awareness that there are bad guys out there.
The lawsuit names Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state and county election officials as defendants, along with the state’s Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University and its director, Merle King.
Curling was among the plaintiffs who unsuccessfully sued many of the same officials in May asking that Georgia use paper ballots in the 6th District runoff election, alleging security vulnerabilities in election equipment. A judge threw out that lawsuit on a technicality — the individuals named as defendants were shielded by the state’s doctrine of sovereign immunity, she ruled — and also noted that early voting had already started.
Kemp cheered that ruling, saying the judge had found “what we already know: Our voting machines in Georgia are safe and accurate.”
Critics, however, contend the judge concluded nothing of the sort, ruling only that the plaintiffs hadn’t demonstrated the machines “had widely malfunctioned or skewed results.” A sophisticated hacker, computer security experts say, could erase tracks, requiring an equally sophisticated investigation to uncover evidence of an intrusion. That’s why, plaintiffs told Colorado Politics, they’re also asking the court to order a forensic analysis of the state’s voting system and its components.
Marks does not care for the two-party system and is an anti-Trump supporter and the Democrats, who she supports, and a radical liberal organization, RESISTZ, are doing everything they can to get Ossoff elected by calling for another non-sense election.
Handel defeated Ossoff by nearly 4 points in the special to replace the seat vacated by Tom Price when he became President Donald Trump’s director of Health and Human Service.
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