Common Cause Georgia Urges Full Transparency in New Voting System Purchase

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Common Cause Georgia urges members of the Secure, Accessible, and Fair Elections (SAFE) Commission to insist upon appointment of an independent committee to oversee the purchase and implementation of a new voting system for Georgians.

“This decision could cost Georgia taxpayers nearly half a billion dollars. Transparency is essential to protecting our votes. With this step, Secretary of State Raffensberger can begin restoring trust in our elections,” said Sara Henderson, executive director of Common Cause Georgia. “The citizens of Georgia need to know that voting machine vendors have wooed local officials with expensive perks. Multimillion dollar decisions about which system to buy should be made with the interests of Georgia voters and taxpayers in mind. They should not be made based on which company spent the most lobbying state legislators and fostering close connections with decisionmakers,” added Henderson.

The companies vying to sell a new voting system to Georgia taxpayers and voters are Election Systems and Software (E.S.&S.), Unisys, Clear Ballot, Dominion and Hart.

The SAFE Commission, Georgia state legislature and Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger should follow through on their promise to include Georgians in a transparent and fair procurement process.

Regardless of the voting system chosen, Common Cause Georgia will push for a law mandating manual risk limiting post-election audits of each race’s results. Computers can be hacked, be misprogrammed or fail. We need non-partisan election officials to double-check computer-generated vote tallies. The best way to check computer-tallied election results is a manual review of enough voter marked paper ballots to establish statistical confidence in an election’s result.