A federal judge will not require paper ballots for Georgia’s November elections.
U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg said the last-minute changes would cause confusion. The judge did express the system is potentially vulnerable to hacking, according to a Reuters report.
Totenburg ruled Monday that voters must rely on a smooth process, especially in a fast-approaching election race. The judge also cited it was important for citizens to have their ballots counted properly.
Totenberg wrote the following in a 46-page decision:
“Ultimately, any chaos or problems that arise in connection with a sudden rollout of a paper ballot system with accompanying scanning equipment may swamp the polls with work and voters – and result in voter frustration and disaffection from the voting process.”
The state’s gubernatorial election is considered a high profile national race where Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, who oversees the state’s election process, and is running for governor, was named in the lawsuit as a defendant. Kemp faces Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, who looks to be the first female governor of the state.
Activists and individuals in Georgia have sued the state saying the 2002 touch-voting machines need to be replaced as they are prone to hacking and votes have been recorded incorrectly. Georgia is one of five states that use touchscreen machines with no paper record for auditing.
Kemp has already placed in for proposals from bidders to have the machines change and include paper ballots for auditing before the elections in 2020.
Lawyers for the activists feel that although their the judge did not stop the electronic voting for November, they feel the judge at least knows there are problems with Georgia’s voting system.