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Key points of objection to SB403 version LC 28 8865S (3/12/18)

The 10 major issues listed below concerning the previous version have not been
addressed in this substitute version to resolve those issues. The text changes made in
this substitute version do not appear to solve any of the major problems. In short the bill
is so poorly constructed that a new system cannot be reasonably planned, purchased or

-The August 2018 RFP issuance date is recklessly unrealistic. System

requirements cannot reasonably be determined by that time, given the extensive
change this involves in the voting system. System should meet federal
certification requirements, but bill is silent, and certification requirement should
be in statute, not in discretionary rule.

-Timing of 6 months from funding to installation and use for 2020 presidential
primary is unreasonably short and cannot be reasonably accomplished in a
manner that would comply with law and reasonable practices.

-The vulnerable barcode balloting is still permitted.

-Audits (with few exceptions) can be prevented at Secretary of State whim. There
is no time in the calendar to conduct audits prior to certification, making
compliance impossible.

-- The construction is so illogical and inconsistent that it can result in an “anything

goes” voting scheme, particularly with inadequate time frames in the bill. The bill
as constructed is written for two components of a voting system, and treats each
of them (scanner and electronic ballot marker) as separate systems, and never
defines a “voting system” or outlines fundamental system requirements or how to
achieve them. Other essential components (such as the Election Management
System) are unaddressed.

--Basic issues like ballot security and chain of custody are not addressed.

Top 10 issues from 3/10/18 memo—

1. SB403 does not permit election audits until 2024 unless the Sec. of State
agrees. Even after 2024, only no state or county races below governor can be audited
without SOS permission. Invites malfeasance without detection.

2. SB403 lets vendors sell uncertified systems, merely obtaining Sec. of State approval
that it’s “safe and accurate.” Most states require approved systems that meet federal
EAC certification. What other equipment would the state purchase without meeting
minimum federal standards? This is very bad election security practice.
3. SB403 has no requirements for op-scan paper ballot security—locked boxes, secured
handling and transportation, chain of custody records, handing memory cards,
authorization to handle ballots, control of excess ballots, etc. Irresponsible to fail to
impose basic ballot security in the law.

4. SB403-- Atlanta and other cities can continue to use unauditable electronic
touchscreens. Unverifiable DRE city elections permitted. Someone will eventually take
advantage of that loophole. Why is this even permitted in the bill?

5. SB403—Barcodes, unreadable by humans, are permitted as official ballots for

tabulation. High risk of cyberattack, and unnecessary. Bill would change definition of
“official ballot” to permit barcodes to be the official record.

6. SB403—Requires single vendor contract for one brand of equipment without ongoing
competition. Most states reject that as too risky and too costly! Why do lawmakers want
only one vendor with no competition?

7. SB403 allows only 7 months between funding and first use in Feb. 2020. Can’t be
done responsibly in such short time. Will result in over-priced, rushed, chaotic process
that vendors will take over. Other states can tell Georgia this timeframe is ridiculously
short for all that is required. Nothing good can come of this rushed impossible schedule.

8. SB403—All election ballot and tabulation programming centralized in Sec. of State

office and then sent to counties. No independent checks and balances. Single point of
failure. Almost all other states prohibit central control and require local county control
and state/ local checks and balances.

9. SB403—Recounts to be conducted by merely rescanning the barcodes, assuring that

the results will be the same as the original “count.” Smoke and mirrors recount.

10.SB403-For “audits” to be valid with this barcode balloting, voters must be able to
remember all races on their ballots without prompting, and review “ballot image card” for
completeness and accuracy. If the Coroner race or Sales Tax Issue 3A was missing on
the card, would you know? Most wouldn’t. Audit becomes invalid.

I have published these concepts in a Twitter “moment”—with 11


Marilyn Marks