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Politics Judge orders Georgia officials to provide backup paper poll books ahead of election

02:40  29 september  2020
02:40  29 september  2020 Source:   thehill.com

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Georgia election officials dismissed these concerns. In 2018 testimony before Judge Totenberg, official Michael Barnes insisted that the She denied the plaintiffs' request to force Georgia to begin using paper ballots in the November 2019 election . She accepted the state's argument that it would

Georgia hopes to have the new machines in place in time for a presidential primary election in March 2020. The danger, security advocates said, was that the schedule could slip and Georgia could then fall back on its old, insecure electronic machines in the March primary and possibly in the November

A federal judge on Monday ordered state officials in Georgia to provide backup paper poll books with lists of all eligible voters to precincts in an effort to prevent long lines and improve procedures during November's general election.

a person holding a sign: Judge orders Georgia officials to provide backup paper poll books ahead of election © Getty Images Judge orders Georgia officials to provide backup paper poll books ahead of election

The poll books are used to check voter registration at polling sites and were partially responsible for voting difficulties in some districts in Georgia during the June primaries.

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Problems with Georgia 's new electronic poll books contributed to hourslong lines during the June primary election , a problem that could be mitigated by paper Totenberg seemed to favor the idea of paper poll book backups at polling places as a feasible solution to a demonstrated problem with the

Problems with Georgia 's new electronic poll books contributed to hourslong lines during the June primary election , a problem that could be mitigated by paper backups , McGuire argued. The auditing procedures Georgia has planned are insufficient and meaningless, in part because the ballots are

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg, who was nominated by former President Obama, ruled that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) must immediately send paper formats of all the information contained in electronic poll books and require election officials to use this paper backup in the case of a machine malfunction.

Totenberg also ordered Raffensperger to ensure that emergency paper ballots are available at precincts to ensure Georgia voters can cast a ballot in the case of a malfunction, and additionally to ensure election officials are trained in how to handle both paper poll books and emergency ballots.

"The narrowly tailored relief ordered directs that the State Defendants provide at least a modicum of the voting backup plan tools essential to protecting voters' constitutionally protected ability and right to cast a ballot that is counted and given the same weight as any other on this coming November 3rd general election day and thereafter," Totenberg wrote in the 67-page order.

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Totenberg noted that "it is not too late" for state officials to "take these reasonable concrete measures to mitigate the real potential harms that would otherwise likely transpire at precinct polling locations grappling with the boiling brew created by the combination of new voting equipment issues and old voter data system deficiencies."

The Associated Press reported that Raffensperger plans to appeal the ruling. Raffensperger stated that his office and election officials "are preparing Georgia for the biggest election turnout in history, and it will do so successfully despite the constant distraction of litigation filed by activists determined to undermine the credibility of our elections."

The ruling comes after voters in some precincts in Georgia were forced to wait in line for hours during the June primary elections due to a smaller amount of polling locations during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as issues with polling pads.

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Problems with Georgia 's new electronic poll books contributed to hourslong lines during the June primary election , a problem that could be mitigated by paper Totenberg seemed to favor the idea of paper poll book backups at polling places as a feasible solution to a demonstrated problem with the

Just In Judge orders Georgia officials to provide backup paper poll books ahead of election . Georgia 's pivotal elections could be an example for the West.

The state awarded a $107 million contract to Dominion Voting Systems to implement a "verified paper ballot system" following a previous ruling from Totenberg last year that required state officials to phase out paperless voting machines ahead of the 2020 elections in order to increase election security.

Dominion's KnowInk PollPads are the equipment the order applies to, with Dominion providing technical support to election officials using its equipment during elections.

The plaintiffs - made up of a coalition of voting rights advocates - cited multiple incidents with the poll books during both the June 9 and August 11 Georgia elections in asking Totenberg to require backup paper poll books, with voters in some cases sent to different polling locations or being denied a ballot due to poll book issues.

The Coalition for Good Governance, one of the plaintiffs in the case, tweeted its support for Totenberg's ruling on Monday, noting that "updated paper backup poll books in every precinct is a simple solution that will help prevent long lines caused by check in delays and potential errors from electronic poll books."

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ATLANTA - If Georgia election officials fail to meet the tight timeline they've set to implement an entirely But she made it clear it’s not acceptable for the state to use the old system as a backup if the new Instead, she ordered election officials to develop a contingency plan that includes using

Georgia election officials farm out ballot creation to ES&S subcontractors who work FROM HOME: not even state employees! Federal Judge To Georgia : Update Your Voting Machines Or Use Paper Ballots. The state of Georgia was already planning to phase out its ancient touchscreen electronic

Totenberg noted in the order on Monday that the ruling on backup paper pollbooks was meant to be a portion of a larger case brought by the plaintiffs targeting voting machines in the state.

Totenberg wrote that due to new evidence submitted by the voting rights plaintiffs last week, the larger ruling was delayed, and the narrower ruling was rolled out to "avoid delay" and give state officials time to implement the ordered measures ahead of Election Day.

The Coalition for Good Governance on Friday filed a court document alleging that there is a serious error in Georgia voting databases, citing a message sent by a Georgia state election official to counties warning of the error and noting that the error would require "every county to get a new database" prior to Election Day.

Totenberg wrote Monday that "the relief that the Coalition Plaintiffs seek here is a limited common sense remedy to the real and repetitive voting impediments Plaintiffs have experienced at the precinct threshold and the substantial threat that they will face from these impediments anew in the 2020 general election if preliminary injunctive relief is not granted."


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This is interesting!