The legal fight over Georgia's voting method in the November General Election came to a head Monday as a judge made a decision on whether voters will use paper or electronic ballots.
U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg issued a ruling late Monday denying the plaintiffs' request to force the state to use paper ballots instead of the 16 year-old touch-screen electronic system. Totenberg's ruling noted that there wasn't enough time to force the state to switch to its emergency backup paper ballots.
The decision is an answer to a lawsuit filed by a group of concerned citizens.
"Give the people a fair, verifiable election that they can count on the results," said paper-ballot advocate Marilyn Marks. "You can't do it on these paperless electronic systems."
Georgia's Secretary of State Brian Kemp issued the following statement late Monday:
“With this ruling behind us, we will continue our preparations for a secure, orderly election in November and move forward with the bipartisan SAFE Commission’s work to responsibly upgrade Georgia’s secure - but aging - voting system. As I have said many times over, our state needs a verifiable paper trail, but we cannot make such a dramatic change this election cycle.”
The judge had some sharp words for the state and state election officials, including lead defendant Kemp. She wrote "Some of the testimony and evidence presented indicated that the defendants and state election officials had buried their heads in the sand."
The judge also criticized how elections officials handled a major data breach and the erasure of a server from the center for election systems which contracted with the Secretary of State's office.
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