Is there democracy in Georgia?

Dear Cathy
by Denis Wright
Sat May 27, 2006

For four years we’ve been asking Cathy Cox, Georgia’s Secretary of State, to answer these important questions. She won’t even respond. This letter was hand-delivered to the Secretary on the day of that she officially announced her run for governor.

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF AUTHOR.

Denis Wright is co-founder of countthevote.org.

Denis Wright’s diary :: ::
January 26, 2006
Secretary of State Cathy Cox
State of Georgia

Ms. Cox,

Recent events in Florida have again shown how vulnerable Georgia is to election tampering. In the past, these charges have been dismissed. There is now even more compelling evidence that Georgia is ignoring, and we write to you today to respectfully request that you address these very important issues immediately.

You have recently indicated that you are now in favor of some type of voter verified paper trail. What, if anything, has your office done to make this happen?

There is a proven security breach with the Diebold Election System Memory Cards; a recent mock election in Leon County, Florida demonstrated that Diebold optical scanners can be hacked into because of the use of interpreted code on the memory cards. As you know, Georgia uses the same Diebold optical scanners (that were tested in Florida) to count absentee ballots and it uses Diebold DREs (Touchscreens) for the rest of its ballots.

The 1990 and 2002 FEC technical standards ban the use of interpreted code on memory cards because it creates a serious security vulnerability (See section 4.2.2, http://www.eac.gov/…). On January 5, 2006, Diebold admitted that their OS, TS and TSX voting equipment uses interpreted code in their “Response to Pennsylvania Request for Clarification on Basic Issues” (see attached).

Because of the fact that Georgia must comply with federal law, and federal standards prohibit the use of interpreted code, it appears that the legality of all Diebold election equipment nationally and in Georgia is in question. We urge you to immediately de-certify the OS, TS and TSX Diebold voting systems Georgia intended for use in the upcoming 2006 elections – or to provide extensive documentation showing why this should not occur.

If, for some reason, you question the evidence found in Florida, we would like to request that you allow a similar mock election to occur right here at the state capitol. While it will not be election day, a skilled and tech savvy individual can show the state how and why their votes are at risk. Too often, these charges are dismissed as conspiracy or the discussion of technical aspects blur the reality of the situation. A real exhibition will simplify everything and it will let the people and the public officials see for themselves.

Finally, the public would like to see all of your correspondence with Diebold and we believe this material, these documents that belong to the public should be on the Secretary of State’s website to inform Georgia voters, public officials and the press about this critical and quickly evolving situation.

Please respond as soon as possible on these matters. After all, it is an election year.

Sincerely,

Roxanne Jekot
CountTheVote.org

Donna Price
Georgians for Verified Voting

John Fortuin
Defenders of Democracy

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