2024 elections will see security pre-check of voting equipment
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced last week that all voting equipment across Georgia will undergo security “health checks” ahead of the 2024 presidential election, including efforts to verify that software hasn’t been altered.
The decision by the SOS to examine Georgia’s voting equipment follows last year’s revelations that supporters of then-President Donald Trump paid tech experts to copy the state’s election software in Coffee County in early 2021. Last year, Raffensperger’s office replaced Coffee County’s voting equipment.
According to a plan, voting touchscreens, ballot scanners, and election management systems will be tested to ensure they’re operating correctly and haven’t been tampered with.
State election officials also said that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will assess physical site security of the storage and warehousing of all election equipment in each of Georgia’s 159 counties. This is coming on the heels of 19 voter check-in devices having been stolen from a DeKalb County elections warehouse last month.
The secretary of state’s office will also pilot an upgrade to Georgia’s voting system software this year, from Democracy Suite 5.5a to Democracy Suite 5.17. This software has been recently certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission but hasn’t yet been deployed in any U.S. jurisdiction.
The update and testing process for the software will require “tens of thousands of man hours,” so the software won’t be installed statewide until after next year’s elections.
Elections Director Blake Evans said,“I don’t think there is a more tested voting system in the country than the one we have in Georgia. We passed every test after a close presidential race in 2020, including a hand-audit and a full recount. And it passed every test in high-profile elections in 2022 as well.”
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