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Georgia: The Epicenter of America’s Corrupted Electronic Elections

Note: Endnotes in process of revision/changing to hyperlinks

By Jennifer Cohn
@jennycohn1
June 29, 2018

In 2017, Georgia politician Tom Price joined the Trump administration, leaving his House seat in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District vacant.

The vacancy represented one of the first realistic opportunities for Democrats to “flip” a House seat from red to blue in the aftermath of the 2016 election. The race was billed by the media as a “referendum on Trump” and a “bellwether” for 2018.

The national significance of the contest brought forth a flood of advertising and organization, making it the most expensive House race of all time.

The top two contenders were Republican Karen Handel (an anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, pro-gun “Christian”) and Democrat Jon Ossoff (who is pro-choice on abortion, pro-gay rights, and less gun happy than Handel).

But even before the first ballot was cast, election integrity advocates and IT experts were sounding the alarm about the integrity of the race. Georgia is one of just five states that still exclusively uses paperless voting machines. Paperless voting machines are an especially attractive target for hackers because there is nothing to compare against the electronic tally to confirm whether it was manipulated. Thus, the only way to know if a paperless machine has been hacked is to conduct a forensic audit, which courts have consistently refused to allow based on the purportedly proprietary nature of the vendors’ software.

Georgia bought its paperless machines from Diebold Election Systems in 2002, making Georgia the “first state to launch electronic voting statewide”. At the time, Georgia’s Secretary of State was Cathy Cox, who allowed Diebold to use her image on its promotional materials.

Cox’s former boss, Lewis Massey, undoubtedly profited from the decision, as he had been retained by Diebold to lobby for the Georgia contract.

Georgia’s election director at that time was a woman named Kathy Rogers, who played a major part in the decision.

Diebold had entered the voting machine business just a few months prior with its acquisition of Global Election Systems, a company founded by three criminals.

Global’s Senior VP was a convicted felon, Jeffrey Dean, who had served time for sophisticated crimes involving “computer tampering.”

Global brought on Dean several months before the 2000 Bush v. Gore election. Soon after hiring Dean, Global hired convicted cocaine trafficker John Elder to oversee punch card printing in several states.

We all remember the punch card recount fiasco of the 2000 election.

A lesser known fiasco from the Bush v. Gore election involved a Global/Diebold machine that inexplicably “lost” 16,000 Gore votes in Volusia County, Florida. The Volusia error was caught only “because an alert poll monitor noticed Gore’s vote count going down through the evening, which of course is impossible.”

Dean and Elder’s criminal past and relationship to Global/Diebold were discovered not by the mainstream media, but rather by election integrity advocate and “Black Box Voting” author Beverly Harris.

Diebold told the AP that Dean left the company in 2002 (when Diebold acquired Global), and the AP took the company’s word at face value. But Harris obtained Dean’s court file, which included internal Diebold memos showing that Dean remained as a Diebold consultant. The mainstream media wasn’t interested.

Diebold acquired Global during President George W. Bush’s first administration, just as Congress passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which allocated billions for states to buy new voting machines.

The bill’s primary sponsor was Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio who used his position as chairman to defeat legislation that would have required voting machines to include a paper trail.

Ney would eventually go to prison for corruption involving his acceptance of bribes from Washington DC lobbyist Jack Abramoff, whose firm received at least $275,000 to lobby the federal government on behalf of Diebold, the number one vendor of paperless voting machines.

Abramoff was a member of Bush’s Rangers and Pioneers, an elite group of fundraisers who had raised at least $100,000 for Bush’s reelection campaign. He too would eventually land in prison for corruption involving his lobbying work.

When Diebold acquired Global in 2002, Diebold’s CEO was Walden O’Dell, also a member of Bush’s Rangers and Pioneers. O’Dell would himself soon achieve infamy for sending a letter to potential donors stating, “I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president [Bush]…[in 2004].”

Georgia Secretary of State Cox — -who had been “very active in working with members of Congress on the Help America Vote Act” — — signed Georgia’s contract with Diebold on or about May 3, 2002.

A month or two later, according to the deposition of Jeffrey Dean (obtained by Beverly Harris), Diebold called convicted felon Dean back to do “consulting work.”

The ensuing election in November 2002 yielded several surprising Republican victories in Georgia. The most notable upset occurred when Saxby Chambliss, a favorite of the Christian Right and President Bush, defeated incumbent senator Max Cleland (D).

Karl Rove and Ralph Reed — a Republican strategist in Georgia — had personally recruited Chambliss to run against Cleland.[v] Cleland, a decorated Vietnam veteran, lost to Chambliss by 7 points even though election polls on the “eve of the 2002 general election showed. … Cleland ahead … by 2–5 points,” a swing of 9–12 points.

An analysis of Chambliss’s victory revealed that, “nearly 60% of the state’s electorate by county switched party allegiances between the primaries and the general election.” Chambliss’s surprising victory helped the GOP take control of the US Senate. (It needed only two seats.)

Another 2002 upset occurred when Confederate Flag defender Sonny Perdue was elected Georgia’s first Republican governor in 130 years, defeating Democratic incumbent Roy Barnes.

Opinion polls in Georgia on the eve of the 2002 general election showed … Barnes leading by 9–11 points,” but Perdue defeated him by 5, a swing of 14–16 points.

Pundits credited a surge of “angry white men” punishing Barnes for removing the Confederate symbol from the state flag. But a demographic breakdown published by the Georgia Secretary of State showed no such surge of white men; the only subgroup showing a modest increase in turnout was black women.

During the same election, Brian Kemp — Georgia’s current Secretary of State — defeated Doug Haines, a liberal incumbent in a left-leaning state House seat that had been held by Democrats for more than four decades. Kemp won by only 486 votes, an exceedingly small vote margin that likely would have triggered a recount but for the paperless machines.

In 2003, “A former worker in the Diebold warehouse in Georgia” alleged that the company had patched Georgia’s voting machines after they were delivered to the counties and shortly before the … election in 2002.” This was corroborated by the New York Times after about 15,000 internal Diebold e-mail messages — some of which referred to the installation of software patches before the 2002 election — somehow made their way onto the internet.

Equally disturbing, in 2004, the DHS quietly released a Cyber Alert concerning an “undocumented backdoor account” to the Diebold Global Election Management System, which programs the electronic ballots for its touchscreen machines.

Georgia Secretary of State Cox was unconcerned. In 2005 or 2006, she doubled down on Diebold with a $15 million purchase of new electronic poll books, which (according to voters) would later fail in multiple locations.

Unlike Cox, the media and public had at this point begun to question the wisdom of continuing to use unverifiable voting machines. Here is a quote from a 2006 article in Savannah Now, a local Georgia publication:

At first, it was easy to brush aside complaints by small but noisy groups that e-voting invited vote-stealing.
But now people with gold-plated academic pedigrees agree.
Avi Rubin, professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, says devices like Diebold’s can be rigged — without detection.
“There are major flaws in the security design of the software,” said David Dill, a computer scientist at Stanford University in Southern California.
In June, The Brennan Center for Justice, a non- partisan New York think tank, said systems like Georgia’s “pose a real danger to the integrity of … state … elections.”

This was the year that a team of computer security researchers published a report finding that “touchscreen voting machines made by the notably litigious vendor Diebold were vulnerable to ‘extremely serious attacks.’ The researchers were so afraid of being sued by Diebold … that they broke with longstanding practice and didn’t tell the company about their findings before publishing.”

The same year, a Diebold whistleblower named Chris Hood spoke to RFK Jr. about the 2002 Georgia election. “Hood wondered why Diebold, the world’s third-largest seller of ATMs, had been awarded the [Georgia] contract. The company had barely completed its acquisition of Global Election Systems, a voting-machine firm that owned the technology Diebold was promising to sell Georgia. And its bid was the highest among nine competing vendors. Whispers within the company hinted that a fix was in.”

Hood claimed that, in late July, to speed deployment of the new machines, [former Georgia Secretary of State] Cox quietly signed an agreement with Diebold that effectively privatized Georgia’s entire electoral system. * * * The company [Diebold] was authorized to put together ballots, program machines and train poll workers across the state — all without any official supervision.”

Hood reported that in mid-August, Diebold’s president, Bob Urosevich, personally came to Georgia from Texas to distribute a software “patch” for the voting machines. He said they were “told that it was intended to fix the clock in the system, which it didn’t do…The curious thing is the “very swift, covert way this was done. . . It was an unauthorized patch, and they were trying to keep it secret from the state.”

According to Hood, “Diebold employees altered software in some 5,000 machines in DeKalb and Fulton counties — the state’s largest Democratic strongholds!

In 2006, the Georgia legislature considered a bill that would at least have required the addition of a paper audit trail to the paperless voting machines themselves. But the bill was defeated after Cox’s appointee, Georgia Elections Director Kathy Rogers, objected to it.

Several months later, Rogers took a job with Diebold.

Meanwhile, Cox pursued an unsuccessful run for governor, and Karen Handel won the election to succeed her as Secretary of State.

Me

During her campaign, Handel had promised to make Georgia elections verifiable with a paper audit trail. But once in office, Handel instead defended and defeated a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s unverifiable voting machines. When the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in Handel’s favor, she “praised the Georgia Supreme Court ruling and claimed that ‘Georgia has the most secure elections in the nation…’”

Plaintiffs later discovered that Handel “had taken about $25,000 in campaign contributions from employees and family members connected with [Diebold’s] lobbyist, Massey & Bowers”

In 2009, Diebold sold its election division to voting machine vendor Election Systems & Software of Nebraska.

Former Georgia Elections Director Kathy Rogers and several other key Diebold personnel moved to ES&S with the acquisition.

But even before the acquisition, Diebold and ES&S were related in that the president of Diebold’s Election Division (Bob Urosevich) had previously founded ES&S with his brother, Todd Urosevich.[xxxiv] Todd Urosevich remains at ES&S in Nebraska to this day.

It was on Bob Urosevich’s watch that Global/Diebold brought convicted cyber-felon Jeffrey Dean into the company in 2000. It was also Bob Urosevich who reportedly instructed workers to install unauthorized software patches before the 2002 Republican takeover election in Georgia.

ES&S has a colorful history as well. It was previously called “American Information Systems,” but changed its name to ES&S in 1997, when it acquired Business Records Corporation (“BRC”). BRC was reportedly financed primarily by Nelson Bunker Hunt, a Texan billionaire and heavy contributor to the Christian Reconstruction movement. AIS had received most of its financing from Howard Ahmanson, another billionaire and proponent of Christian Reconstruction, and/or his family.

Coincidentally, or not, Hunt and Howard Ahmanson were both members of the Council for National Policy (“CNP”), a powerful networking group for social conservatives and wealthy donors. Current members include KellyAnne Conway, Steve Bannon, Ken Blackwell (infamous Ohio Secretary of State in 2004), Mike Pence, and the Mercers.

Paul Weyrich — who founded the CNP with Hunt and several other men — once gave a speech in which he admitted that he did not want everyone to vote.

Here is the CNP’s mission statement from its 2014 directory:

A united conservative movement to assure, by 2020, policy leadership and governance that restores religious and economic freedom, a strong national defense, and Judeo-Christian values under the Constitution.

Like Diebold, ES&S has had its share of publicity. In 1996, Republican Chuck Hagel, a first-time candidate, ran for the U.S. senate in Nebraska and managed to defeat the Democratic incumbent by 15 points, even though pre-election polls had called the race a dead heat.

Hagel “miraculously won virtually every demographic group in the state, including large African American communities that had never previously voted Republican.” Hagel was also the first Republican to win a Nebraska senate race since 1972.

Hagel’s surprising landslide victory raised eyebrows because Hagel had been the chairman of AIS (ES&S’s predecessor) until a few weeks or perhaps even just a few days before he announced his candidacy. Nebraska election officials reported that AIS machines had counted about 85% of the votes in the race.

ES&S has had many reported failures since the Hagel election, as detailed on a startlingly long list (with links to news articles) created by a group called Voters Unite In 2006.

In 2007, a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a security evaluation of ES&S optical scanners and ES&S touchscreen voting machines and published a report (the “Everest report”), stating that they had found “numerous exploitable vulnerabilities in nearly every component of the ES&S system … These vulnerabilities enable attacks that could alter or forge precinct results, install corrupt firmware, and erase audit records.”

In 2010, the Department of Justice forced ES&S to sell Diebold because the combined company accounted for more than 70% of US election equipment, violating anti-trust laws. In a settlement with the DOJ, Diebold purportedly dissolved, and its assets were split between ES&S and a Canadian company called Dominion Voting.

The following year, an interim election board in Venango County, Pennsylvania commissioned a forensic audit of the county’s 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting systems. The court, county Commissioners, and ES&S eventually shut down the audit (with ES&S threatening legal action against the board members and scientists). But an interim report stated that the scientists had found “evidence that the system was repeatedly accessed by an unidentified remote computer, for lengthy periods of time, on “multiple occasions.”

The same year, a laboratory run by the Department of Energy showed how Diebold voting machines — used by a third of all voters nationwide (at the time), including Georgia — could be hacked via remote control.

By then, Georgia’s governor, Sonny Perdue, had appointed Brian Kemp to the office of Secretary of State, replacing Handel who had left office to pursue an unsuccessful bid for governor.

Kemp expressed no interest in replacing Georgia’s paperless machines, and the national media gave him little grief.

But that has begun to change courtesy of the Georgia 6th District special election in 2017. On March 3, 2017, a little more than a month before the primary, Politico and other national news outlets reported that the FBI was investigating a breach at Georgia’s Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University.”

And a few weeks later, equipment “used to check-in voters at the polls” — including a “flash card with a voter list” — was stolen from a parked car.

A concerned national election integrity advocate, Marilyn Marks, filed a lawsuit to compel Kemp to use hand marked paper ballots (counted on optical scanners) in the race. But Georgia Secretary of State Kemp swiftly defeated it on a procedural technicality (sovereign immunity), declaring that the machines are “safe and accurate.”

Kemp assured voters that Georgia’s voting machines could not be hacked because they aren’t connected to the internet. But he omitted to mention that all voting machines, including those in Georgia, must receive programming before each election from centralized election management systems that can and often do connect to the internet.

Kemp also omitted to mention that Georgia uses a single flash drive to upload its election results from a central tabulator to an online Election Night Reporting System and then reinserts the same flash drive into the same central tabulator for the next round of results. Thus, if the flash drive becomes infected with malware from the online reporting system, it could spread the malware to the central tabulator and change the results from each polling place as they are uploaded.[lxv]

On the night of the primary, Ossoff was poised to win the primary outright with 50.3% of the vote when the counting stopped.[lxvi]

An hour or so later, CNN announced that there had been a “technical glitch,” and the local news reported that a “lost” voting machine memory card had been found and was being “processed” in Fulton County. [lxvii]

When the counting finally resumed around 11:00 p.m., Ossoff’s total had dropped from 50.3% to 48.6%.[lxviii] Ossoff eventually dropped even further to 48.1%, forcing him into a runoff against Handel (who received 19.8%) scheduled for June 20, 2017.[lxix]

The bad news for Ossoff continued when, the week before the runoff, news broke that Georgia’s Election Center had “inadvertently” left 15 gigabytes worth of files online and without password protection.[lxx]

According to the white hat hacker who made this discovery, Logan Lamb, the exposed files “looked like they could be used to hack an election,” and included:

  • A “database containing registration records for the state’s 6.7 million voters.” “a number of files, arranged by county, that looked like they could be used t*o hack an election.”
  • “software files for the state’s ExpressPoll pollbooks — electronic devices used … to verify that a voter is registered before allowing them to cast a ballot.”
  • “multiple PDFs with instructions and passwords for election workers to sign in to a central server on Election Day.”
  • “software files for the state’s ExpressPoll pollbooks — electronic devices used … to verify that a voter is registered before allowing them to cast a ballot.”
  • databases for the so-called GEMS [Global Election Management System] servers,” which “are used to prepare paper and electronic ballots, tabulate votes and produce summaries of vote totals.” [lxxi]

The files were supposed to be behind a password-protected firewall, but the center had misconfigured its server so they were accessible to anyone..”[lxxii]

Lamb discovered the breach in August 2016. (Id.) When he told the Georgia Election Director (Merle King) about his discovery, King told him to keep the information to himself or “the people downtown, the politicians…will crush [you].” (Id.) King also told Lamb that he would secure the files. (Id.)

But as reported by Politico in June 2017, one of Lamb’s colleagues discovered in March 2017 that, for the most part, the files were still exposed. (Id.)

Despite this shocking news, Kemp claimed to be “confident that the results [would] not be compromised.”[lxxiii]

On the eve of the runoff, polls gave Ossoff a slight edge, but called the race “too close to call.”[lxxiv]

But the official results showed that Handel had defeated Ossoff 51.9% to 48.1%.[lxxv]

Election integrity advocates noted with concern that Ossoff had won the only verifiable aspect of the race — paper absentee ballots (which have historically leaned Republican) — by a landslide 28 points. But the electronic results from Georgia’s unverifiable touchscreen voting machines skewed so heavily in favor of Handel that it didn’t matter. (Charts by election integrity advocate and author of Code Red: Computerized Elections, Jonathan Simon.)

Ossoff also ended up with the exact same total in the runoff, where he had no Democratic challengers, that he had in the primary, where he had four Democratic challengers.[i]

Evangelicals from the Faith & Freedom Coalition founded by Georgia politician Ralph Reed — with money from the Koch family — gleefully declared that “God [had] won.”[ii] The mainstream media and even some Democrats said that the outcome of the race meant that Nancy Pelosi was toxic.[iii] But voters and election integrity advocates still worried about the voting machines.

Marilyn Marks thus spearheaded a new lawsuit that challenged Handel’s win and sought to enjoin the use of Georgia’s paperless machines in future elections, including the upcoming 2018 midterms.

Soon after the new suit was filed, however, Georgia’s Election Center wiped its election server, including backup copies, which would have been a key piece of evidence in the election challenge.[iv]

The public outcry was substantial, but Kemp managed to tamp it down by conducting a pilot study of ES&S’s new voting system called the “ExpressVote,” which both he and the media characterized as a “paper ballot system.”[v]

The ES&S executive promoting the ExpressVote in Georgia and throughout the United States is none other than Kathy Rogers, the former Georgia Election Director who helped usher in a generation of paperless Diebold voting machines before taking a job with Diebold and then ES&S, her current employer.

Unfortunately, despite the media hype, the ExpressVote is not really a paper ballot system. Rather, it is a touchscreen ballot marker that generates a paper “summary card” containing abbreviated text and a barcode,[vi] which the voter then inserts into a scanner to be counted. Unlike a real paper ballot, the only part of the summary card counted as your vote is the barcode, which humans can’t read and thus can’t verify.

Lest you think that, at least voters can verify the abbreviated text on those “summary cards,” think again. Professor Philip Stark, the UC Berkeley statistics professor who invented Risk Limiting Audits, recently explained to the Election Assistance Commission’s advisory board that even he was unable to verify his votes using one of these summary cards:

Personally, I had gone thru the exercise of voting … and then going back & trying to verify my selections, & my memory was not good enough to tell whether any contests had been omitted from the summary ballot, nor from the brief descriptions….. or the abbreviated names of the contests, to recall how I intended to vote when I went in and looked at the summary ballot.”[vii]

The ExpressVote also must be used in conjunction with ES&S’s popular DS200 scanners, which were “upgraded” in 2015 to include cellular modems.[viii] According to Computer Science Professor Andrew Appel, these cellular modems make the DS200 scanners vulnerable to a “Man in the Middle” hack via a fake cell tower.[ix]

But when U.S. Senator Ron Wyden asked ES&S what it has done to secure its elections since 2016, Kathy Rogers, who is ES&S’s VP of governmental affairs, responded vaguely that the company has “multiple safeguards in place to protect against known and unknown threats…”[x] Wyden was unimpressed.[xi]

In the past year, election officials throughout the U.S. have flocked to replace their aging touchscreen machines with the ExpressVote. Behind the scenes, independent IT experts express grave concerns about the use of barcodes on ballots and the absence of independent human usability testing on the summary cards from systems like the ExpressVote.[xii] But nobody knows because the Election Assistance Commission and national election integrity groups have decided to remain quiet.

Thus far, Maryland is the only state that has tried the ExpressVote for universal statewide use, although Rogers hopes to change that with Georgia. Here’s a link to a video clip of Rogers promoting the ExpressVote to a local Maryland station.

That Maryland would fall for the ExpressVote early on is no surprise. In 2004, Maryland’s current election administrator, Linda LaMone, made Maryland the second state (after Georgia) to deploy paperless Diebold voting machines statewide, despite a report stating that testers had been “able to remotely upload, download, and execute files with full system administrator privileges. Results could be modified at will, including changing votes from precincts.”[xiii]

LaMone even allowed Diebold to operate its “touch-screen voting machines during the state’s 2002 gubernatorial election and the 2004 presidential primaries before the state agency actually certified the controversial machines…”[xiv]

LaMone has been so enamored of paperless touchscreen voting that, after the Maryland House of Delegates voted to switch to paper ballots and optical scanners[xv], she used the allotted money to instead buy Diebold electronic pollbooks[xvi]. Reminiscent of Cathy Cox in Georgia, LaMone allowed Diebold to feature her in its promotional materials after the electronic pollbooks had malfunctioned[xvii].

LaMone — who has landed a position on the Advisory Board to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission— also helped vote down a resolution that would have required human usability testing of the ExpressVote as a condition of certification. [xii — updates section]

It was LaMone who reportedly made the decision to try the ExpressVote, ignoring the “grave concerns” of the state’s IT experts.[xviii]

But after using the ExpressVote in the 2016 primaries, “all but one [Maryland] county opposed widespread use” because (among other reasons) they took voters longer to use than hand marked paper ballots, causing long lines.[xix] The Maryland Elections Board was so unimpressed that it has since decided to limit the use of the ExpressVote — -originally leased for “universal use” — -to those voters who are physically unable to mark their ballots by hand.[xx]

Despite it all, the Georgia senate recently voted 50–0 to pass a bill (SB403), which would have allowed the state to replace its touchscreen voting machines with touchscreen barcode ballot markers like the ExpressVote. The bill failed only after Marilyn Marks and several other election integrity advocates caught wind of it and worked with a group of on-the-ground activists to defeat it in the Georgia House of Representatives at the eleventh hour. Here are some posts from social media during that time period.

Georgia lawmakers can and most certainly will revisit the issue when they return from recess. And Kemp, who is running for governor, remains keen on the ExpressVote. It can’t hurt that, per a recent expose in McClatchy, ES&S has for years rewarded election officials with all-expense paid trips and even show tickets in Las Vegas.[xxi]

As for Karen Handel, who is up for reelection this year, she has yet to hold an in person town. But she did make time to oppose birthright citizenship in a telephonic town hall last year.[xxii]

She has also made the top ten list of candidates to whom the Koch Brothers have donated money in 2018.[xxiii]

Just last week, in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to separate immigrant children from their parents at the border, it was Karen Handel who tried to silence Representative Ted Lieu’s audio on the House floor of children crying as they were ripped away from their parents.[xxiv]

It remains to be seen whether Handel’s reelection bid — and Kemp’s race for governor — will be conducted on the same unverifiable touchscreen voting machines that she and Kemp staunchly defended during their respective tenures as Secretary of State. If the Georgia paper ballot suit succeeds, the 2018 midterm elections will be the first verifiable elections to be conducted in Georgia since 2002.

If it fails, Georgia may have to buckle up for a generation of unverifiable barcode voting courtesy of ES&S and Kathy Rogers.

If you live outside of Georgia, you should be concerned too, as counties everywhere are flocking to the ExpressVote. The only difference is that, unlike Georgia, there is no lawsuit trying to stop the train wreck.

Update 7/5/18

Here is some additional intriguing information: In April 2016, Russian ambassador Kislyak visited Kennesaw University, which housed the Georgia Election Center. This information was discovered by Michelle Avery Weston.

In August 2016, Secretary of State Kemp refused help from the Department of Homeland Security to secure its systems.

The same month, white hat hacker Logan Lamb discovered the Election Center had left 15 gigabytes of data, which looked like it could be used to hack an election, online and without password protection.

In April 2017, about a week before the Georgia 6th District primary election, the director of Fulton County’s Election Board (Rick Barron) — who had recently observed elections in Kazakhstan — was chatting on Facebook with a woman in Moscow named Julya Kudaneeva.

Someone by the name of “Yulia Kudaneeva” is apparently a Chief Consultant to the Russian Election Federation.

Recall that it was a “rare error” in Fulton County that caused the counting to stop during the Georgia 6th District primary on April 18, 2017. Before the counting stopped, Ossoff was poised to win the primary and avoid a runoff with more than 50% of the vote. When the counting resumed, he had fallen below 50% where he remained.

Per election integrity advocates Marilyn Marks and Dana Bowers, one polling place in Fulton County had 171 more ballots cast than registered voters in the Georgia 6th District primary. They reportedly have found this type of irregularity in both the Georgia 6th District election primary and in the runoff. Here is the state certified voting machine recap log, which was discussed on Georgia local news a week or so ago:

Meanwhile, it was just reported today that “Going back at least to 2012, a major error by either/or Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp‘s office or the DeKalb County Board of Elections has put nearly 700 voters who should be in Democratic Rep. Scott Holcomb’s House District 81 in (up until recently) safe Republican House District 79.” http://brambleman.com/major-georgia-voting-snafu-has-robbed-rep-scott-holcomb-of-hundreds-of-votes-for-years/

Bio

Background: Jennifer Cohn is an attorney and election integrity advocate in the San Francisco Bay Area who graduated from UCLA and Hastings College of the Law. As an attorney, her areas of practice included insurance coverage and appellate law. She practiced law for more than twenty years, including seven years as a partner with Nielsen Haley & Abbott, LLP in Marin County, California. Since 2016, she has devoted her professional efforts full time toward investigating our insecure election system and potential solutions. She can be contacted through her Twitter account, @jennycohn1.

End Notes

[i] https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/georgia-house-special-election-district-6

[ii] http://www.newsweek.com/ossoff-georgia-trump-evangelicals-627987

[iii] https://www.npr.org/2017/06/21/533866997/democrats-play-blame-game-with-pelosi-after-georgia-election-to-gops-glee

[iv] https://www.apnews.com/877ee1015f1c43f1965f63538b035d3f

[v] http://ocgnews.com/rockdale-county-to-pilot-paper-ballot-voting-system-for-georgia/

[vi] https://www.essvote.com/products/12/12/universal-voting-system/expressvote/

[vii] https://medium.com/@jennycohn1/progress-states-are-replacing-unverifiable-touchscreen-voting-machines-with-unverifiable-3d77c0905cfd [updates section]

[viii] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/21/magazine/the-myth-of-the-hacker-proof-voting-machine.html

[ix] https://freedom-to-tinker.com/2018/02/22/are-voting-machine-modems-truly-divorced-from-the-internet/

[x]

https://fcw.com/articles/2017/11/17/voting-machine-company-wyden-cyber.aspx

[xi] https://fcw.com/articles/2017/11/17/voting-machine-company-wyden-cyber.aspx

[xii] https://medium.com/@jennycohn1/progress-states-are-replacing-unverifiable-touchscreen-voting-machines-with-unverifiable-3d77c0905cfd

[xiii] http://www.votersunite.org/info/evenaremotechance.htm

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2004-01-30/news/0401300080_1_voting-machines-wertheimer-diebold

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2004-08-27/news/0408270076_1_computer-experts-diebold-machines

[xiv] https://votingmachines.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000303

[xv] https://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/23/opinion/common-sense-in-maryland.html

[xvi] https://www.opednews.com/articles/Why-Maryland-STILL-Does-No-by-Joyce-McCloy-100320-69.html

[xvii] https://www.opednews.com/articles/Why-Maryland-STILL-Does-No-by-Joyce-McCloy-100320-69.html

[xviii] https://vimeo.com/97866270

[video of Rogers promoting the ExpressVote in MD]

https://thevotingnews.com/elections-chief-rejects-delay-in-launching-new-voting-system-baltimore-sun/

[xix] http://www.gaverifiedvoting.org/pdf/v-state-voting-systems/2017-Statement-Supervising-Elections-PBOS-Rebecca-Wilson-Maryland.pdf

[xx] https://nfb.org/blog/vonb-blog/victory-voters-maryland-and-perhaps-beyond

[xxi] https://www.mcclatchydc.com/latest-news/article213558729.html

[xxii] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm6btk3qJDo&feature=youtu.be

[xxiii] https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/toprecips.php?id=D000000186&cycle=2018

[xxiv] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/06/22/ted-lieu-karen-handel-house-floor-dispute-crying-children-audio/725937002/



[i] https://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/09/business/machine-politics-in-the-digital-age.html

[ii] http://gareport.com/story/2002/05/03/diebold-wins-election-machines-contract/

https://voterga.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/cathy-cox-deposition.pdf, p. 13

[iii] http://freepress.org/article/programmer-jeff-dean-worked-chief-white-house-plumbers-unit

[iv] http://web.cs.ucdavis.edu/~rogaway/classes/188/materials/how-to-rig-an-election-2012.pdf

[v] http://www.atlantamagazine.com/great-reads/max-cleland/

[vi] http://www.fourfreedomsblog.com/Blog.php?Act=ViewBlogPost&BlogID=362

[vii] https://www.rawstory.com/news/2005/Diebold_insider__alleges_company_plagued_1206.html

[viii] http://www.redandblack.com/news/democrats-fall-to-republicans/article_839ebe64-0f17-5b8d-811a-87dd73fbdf65.html

[ix] http://landmarkcommunications.net/when-georgia-secretary-of-state-brian-kemp-first-ran-for-office-democrats-ran-the-show/

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/equality-confederate-flag-charleston

[x] http://www.populist.com/03.20.dispatches.html

[xi] http://www.populist.com/03.20.dispatches.html

[xii] http://www.populist.com/03.20.dispatches.html

[xiii] http://onlineathens.com/stories/123010/new_763263249.shtml

[xiv] http://www.redandblack.com/news/democrats-fall-to-republicans/article_839ebe64-0f17-5b8d-811a-87dd73fbdf65.html

[xv] http://juro.uga.edu/2004/sheriff2.htm

[xvi] https://www.wired.com/2003/11/suspect-code-used-in-state-votes/

[xvii] http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/09/business/machine-politics-in-the-digital-age.html

[xviii] http://www.bradblog.com/?p=2724

[xix] http://news.diebold.com/article_print.cfm?article_id=4687

https://electionupdates.caltech.edu/2005/11/01/georgia-to-deploy-electronic-poll-books-in-precincts/

https://voterga.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/cathy-cox-deposition.pdf, pp. 16–17.

[xx] https://www.wired.com/2008/02/diebold-e-pollb/

[xxi] http://www.augustachronicle.com/stories/2006/09/24/met_97965.shtml

[xxii] http://www.savannahnow.com/article/20060812/NEWS/308129893

[xxiii] https://www.salon.com/2011/09/27/votinghack/

https://www.princeton.edu/news/2006/09/13/researchers-reveal-extremely-serious-vulnerabilities-e-voting-machines-0

https://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/features/whistleblower/whistleblower-act-whistleblowing-2.html [Chris Hood interview with ABC News]

[xxiv] https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/robert-kennedy-jr-will-next-election-be-hacked-electronic-voting-machines-cant-be-trusted [article in Rolling Stone]

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2006/9/21/248579/-

[xxv] https://voterga.org/history/

http://news.diebold.com/article_print.cfm?article_id=4687

[xxvi] http://www.augustachronicle.com/stories/2006/12/24/met_109785.shtml

[xxvii] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/us/politics/karen-handel-facts.html

[xxviii] http://www.creativeloafing.com/news/article/13049636/secretary-of-state-karen-handel-to-resign

https://voterga.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/karen-handel-basics.pdf

[xxix] https://voterga.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/defendants-brief-for-summary-judgment-motion.pdf [link to defendants’ MSJ]

https://voterga.org/history/ [link to July 2006 complaint]

https://voterga.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/final-fulton-co-order.pdf [link to February 2009 order granting defendants’ MSJ]

[xxx] https://voterga.org/history/

[xxxi] https://voterga.org/history/

http://www.creativeloafing.com/news/article/13049636/secretary-of-state-karen-handel-to-resign

[xxxii] https://www.wired.com/2009/09/diebold-sells/

[xxxiii] https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2010/2/25/840837/- [“ES&S buyout: The Diebold Special Persons List.”]

[xxxiv] http://www.omaha.com/columnists/kelly/kelly-this-omaha-company-shaped-how-america-counts-its-election/article_459030e0-b522-5a7b-b953-1e6c958e5439.html

https://corpwatch.org/article/us-diebold-apologizes-failure [article describing Bob Urosevich as the president of Diebold’s election division]

[xxxv] http://www.omaha.com/columnists/kelly/kelly-this-omaha-company-shaped-how-america-counts-its-election/article_459030e0-b522-5a7b-b953-1e6c958e5439.html

https://corpwatch.org/article/us-diebold-apologizes-failure [article describing Bob Urosevich as the president of Diebold’s election division]

[xxxvi] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_Systems_%26_Software#Electronic_Poll_Books_for_the_City_of_Chicago

[xxxvii] http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/whose-water/whose-voting-machines

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/06/18/bully-pulpit

[xxxviii] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2005/12/nation-under-god/

[“[T]wo heavy contributors to the Chalcedon Foundation-Reconstruction’s main think tank — are Howard Ahmanson and Nelson Bunker Hunt, both of whose families played key roles in financing [ES&S].”]

http://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/voting-technology-companies-in-the-us--their-histories-and-present-contributions-20170810-00789

[“In 1984, William & Robert Ahmanson funded Data Mark (soon to be AIS) and bought a 68% stake in the company. A few years later, an investment group, McCarthy & Co., also acquired a share.”]

[xxxix]

http://www.seekgod.ca/cnp.ho.htm [Hunt and Ahmanson were also early members of the CNP according to this listing]

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=121170&page=1 [ABC news report that Hunt was one of the CNP’s founders].

[xl] http://www.washingtontimes.com/topics/council-for-national-policy/

[The CNP “is an umbrella organization and networking group for social [anti- abortion, anti-gay] conservative activists in the United States. … Nation magazine has called it a secretive organization that ‘networks wealthy right- wing donors together with top conservative operatives to plan long-term movement strategy.’”]

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/28/us/2004-campaign-conservatives-club- most-powerful-gathers-strictest-privacy.html The CNP “a little known club of a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country…”]

https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/05/17/council-national-policy-behind-curtain

[xli] https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/cnp_redacted_final.pdf [CNP 2014 directory listing KellyAnne Conway, Steve Bannon, Wayne LaPierre, the DeVos family, and Ken Blackwell]

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-tycoon-behind-the-trump-presidency [the Mercers are in the CNP]

[xlii] http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=121170&page=1

[xliii] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GBAsFwPglw

[xliv] https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/cnp_redacted_final.pdf

[xlv] https://harpers.org/archive/2012/11/how-to-rig-an-election/3/

http://blackboxvoting.org/bbv_footnotes.pdf [Business Week called Hagel’s win a “landslide upset.”]

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2004/03/diebolds-political-machine/ [Hagel “surprised national pundits and defied early polls”]

[xlvi] https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2008/10/29/645732/-

[xlvii] https://www.wired.com/2004/03/how-e-voting-threatens-democracy/ [Nelson began the race with a 65 percent to 18 percent lead in the polls, but first- time candidate Hagel won with 56 percent of the vote, becoming the state’s first Republican senator since 1972.]

[xlviii] https://www.wired.com/2004/03/how-e-voting-threatens- democracy/

[xlix] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2004/03/diebolds-political- machine/

[l] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2004/03/diebolds-political-machine/

[li] http://www.votersunite.org/info/ES&Sinthenews.pdf

[lii] https://www.usenix.org/legacy/event/evt08/tech/full_papers/aviv/aviv.pdf

[liii] https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-requires-key-divestiture-election-systems-softwarepremier-election

[liv] https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-voting-technology/

[lv] https://truthout.org/articles/forensic-analysis-finds-venango-county-pa-evoting-system-remotely-accessed-on-multiple-occasions-by-unknown-computer-2/

[lvi] https://www.salon.com/2011/09/27/votinghack/

[“Diebold voting machines can be hacked by remote control [Para] Exclusive: a laboratory shows how an e-voting machine used by a third of all voters can be easily manipulated”]

[lvii] https://creativeloafing.com/content-211739-Secretary-of-State-Karen-Handel-to-resign

[lviii] https://ballotpedia.org/Georgia_Secretary_of_State_election,_2010

[lix] http://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/fbi-investigating-alleged-breach-georgia-ksu-elections-center/cvjxRG3MH3lba48FsqWqsM/

[lx] https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/voters-personal-data-risk-cobb-theft/FYDyqME5bqLG4ip4snYLwO/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/politics/georgia-house-6th-special-election-jon-ossoff/index.html

https://voterga.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/bulletin-ga6-paper-ballot-lawsuit-hearing.pdf

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/election-equipment-stolen-georgia-special-election

[lxi] https://www.scribd.com/document/350080769/Rocky-Mountain-Foundation-Press-Release-re-GA-ballot-case [link to press release and original paper ballot suit]

[lxii] https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/judge-dismisses-paper-ballot-lawsuit-georgia-6th-district/KDbQb7vQYL87fsnc3hPqoO/

[lxiii] https://medium.com/@marilynrmarks_78681/georgias-voting-system-the-internet-and-the-meaning-of-is-23243fc3340b

[lxiv] https://freedom-to-tinker.com/2016/09/20/which-voting-machines-can-be-hacked-through-the-internet/

[lxv] https://medium.com/@marilynrmarks_78681/georgias-voting-system-the-internet-and-the-meaning-of-is-23243fc3340b

[lxvi]

[lxvii]

https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt--politics/rare-error-delays-fulton-county-vote-counts-6th-district-race/dleYXJvjL1R9gSsw1swwAJ/

[lxviii]

[lxix] https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/georgia-house-special-election-district-6

[lxx] http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/14/will-the-georgia-special-election-get-hacked-215255

https://phys.org/news/2017-06-georgia-voter-exposed-internet.html

[lxxi] http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/14/will-the-georgia-special-election-get-hacked-215255

[lxxii] http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/14/will-the-georgia-special-election-get-hacked-215255

[lxxiii] https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/voters-personal-data-risk-cobb-theft/FYDyqME5bqLG4ip4snYLwO/

[lxxiv] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/20/georgia-election-results-ossoff-handel/103037804/

[lxxv] https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/georgia-congressional-runoff-ossoff-handel

[i] https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/republicans-begin-to-fret-about-holding-on-to-tom-prices-georgia-seat/2017/04/09/34211c82-1b26-11e7-bcc2-7d1a0973e7b2_story.html?utm_term=.89a7d148bda5

[ii] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/18/us/politics/high-stakes-referendum-on-trump-takes-shape-in-a-georgia-special-election.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/georgia-6th-district-special-election-results-ossoff-handel-trump-2017-6 [“It’s viewed as the first major referendum on Trump’s presidency”]

[iii] https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/19/politics/georgia-race-ossoff-handel-nothing-settled/index.html

https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/06/georgia-special-election-jon-ossoff-karen-handel-bellwether/

[iv] https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/trumps-agenda-on-the-line-in-hard-fought-georgia-house-race/2017/06/20/0d0e7086-559b-11e7-b38e-35fd8e0c288f_story.html?utm_term=.5190b40fc530

[v] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/20/us/politics/georgia-6th-most-expensive-house-election.html?mtrref=medium.com&gwh=20781462766A7515D965A940B48A5A78&gwt=pay

[vi] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/us/after-outcry-a-top-official-resigns-at-komen-cancer-charity.html [Handel opposes abortion and called for eliminating money to Planned Parenthood]

https://www.advocate.com/politics/2017/4/19/republican-georgia-race-has-anti-lgbt-antichoice-history [Handel is anti-choice and opposes same-sex marriage; she voted against domestic-partner benefits]

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2017/06/16/karen_handel_jon_ossoff_s_opponent_opposes_same_sex_adoption_again.html [Handel opposes same-sex adoption]

https://www.nraila.org/articles/20170510/nra-endorses-karen-handel-in-georgia-s-6thdistrict-special-election [NRA endorsed Handel]

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/jon-ossoff-defends-his-failed-campaign-calls-gop-attacks-cynical-and-divisive/article/2631348 [Ossoff is pro-choice on abortion and pro-gay rights]

http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2017/04/30/ossoff-handel-split-over-georgias-campus-carry-measure/ [Ossoff against campus carry measure; Handel for it]

[vii] https://www.npr.org/2016/10/18/498255215/why-worries-about-paperless-voting-loom-larger-this-year

http://time.com/4500216/election-voting-machines-hackers-security/

[viii] https://www.thenation.com/article/touch-and-go-elections-perils-electronic-voting/

[ix] https://medium.com/@jhalderm/want-to-know-if-the-election-was-hacked-look-at-the-ballots-c61a6113b0ba [“The pink counties … use optical scan paper ballots, which can be examined to confirm that the computer voting machines produced an accurate count. Blue counties use paperless systems which require forensic analysis”]

[x] http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8986

https://www.thenation.com/article/touch-and-go-elections-perils-electronic-voting/

https://truthout.org/articles/forensic-analysis-finds-venango-county-pa-evoting-system-remotely-accessed-on-multiple-occasions-by-unknown-computer-2/ [“Despite the disturbing report, as obtained by The BRAD BLOG and posted in full below, we may never get to learn who did it or why, if Venango’s County Commissioners, a local judge, and the nation’s largest e-voting company have their way. And that’s not all we won’t get to find out about.”]

[xi] https://www.georgiapol.com/2018/02/01/kemps-evolving-position-paper-ballots/

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/14/will-the-georgia-special-election-get-hacked-215255

https://www.georgiapol.com/2018/02/01/kemps-evolving-position-paper-ballots

[xii] https://www.thenation.com/article/karen-handel-has-a-long-history-of-suppressing-votes/

[xiii] http://gareport.com/story/2002/05/03/diebold-wins-election-machines-contract/

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22lewis+massey%22&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjn25yLkOfWAhVpxFQKHfmjAVQQ_AUICSgA&biw=1207&bih=471&dpr=1.13

[xiv] https://www.eac.gov/documents/2010/9/16/testimony-of-kathy-rogers-office-of-georgia-secretary-of-state/

http://www.sbnonline.com/article/rock-the-vote-with-3-9-billion-in-government-funding-in-the-pipeline-for-election-reform-diebold-is-set-to-conquer-the-nation-s-voting-system-overhaul/

[xv] https://freepress.org/article/felons-fingers-us-vote-mail-system

http://wheresthepaper.org/NCconservative060102VotingMachineDirtAndThenSome.htm

http://www.votersunite.org/info/VendorsProhibited.pdf

[xvi] https://www.wired.com/2003/12/con-job-at-diebold-subsidiary/ [“According to a public court document released before GES hired him, Dean served time in a Washington state correctional facility for stealing money and tampering with computer files in a scheme that ‘involved a high degree of sophistication and planning.’”];

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2005/feb/02/houseofcommons.society [“Stephenson also discovered that Jeffrey Dean, the senior programmer of the Diebold Gems central tabulator system counting a third of the votes in the Bush-Kerry election in 37 states, has a police record. He pleaded guilty to 23 counts of embezzlement involving sophisticated manipulation of computer accounting records.”]

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/23/opinion/democracy-at-risk.html

[xvii] https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2004/03/diebolds-political-machine/

[xviii] https://people.csail.mit.edu/rivest/voting/press/2004-04%20Vanity%20Fair%20-%20Hack%20The%20Vote.pdf

[xix] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2004/03/diebolds-political-machine/

[xx] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2004/03/diebolds-political-machine/

[xxi] http://blackboxvoting.org/bbv_chapter-14.pdf

[xxii] https://www.wired.com/2009/09/diebold-sells/

[xxiii] https://www.congress.gov/bill/107th-congress/house-bill/3295[Ney as sponsor]

https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=364x3154915 [Rolling Stone: Ney used his position as chairman to defeat paper trail legislation]

[xxiv] https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6923766

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/01/05/prosecutors-want-harsh-sentenhttp://www.alien-earth.com/articles.php?

http://www.alien-earth.com/articles.php?category=6&article=847&page=1

https://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/09/business/machine-politics-in-the-digital-age.htm

[xxv] https://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/05/washington/05abramoff.html?mtrref=www.google.com&gwh=0490E620630971E492A693AF1CCEF2CC&gwt=pay [Abramoff gets 4 years in prison for corruption]

[xxvi] http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/09/business/machine-politics-in-the-digital-age.html