, 17 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
How Voting-Machine Lobbyists Undermine the Democratic Process By ⁦@suehalpernVT⁩ 1/ newyorker.com/tech/annals-of…
“In the past decade, Election Systems & Software (E.S. & S.), the largest manufacturer of voting machines in the country, has routinely wined and dined a select group of state-election brass, which the company called an ‘advisory board,’ offering them airfare on trips...2/
...to places like Las Vegas and New York, upscale-hotel accommodations, and tickets to live events.” 3/
“Among the recipients of this largesse [by voting machine vendor ES&S]...was David Dove, the chief of staff to Georgia’s then secretary of state, Brian Kemp.” 4/
Kemp, GA’s new governor, “made news in the midterm elections 4 his efforts to keep people of color from voting & 4 overseeing his own election. In March of 2017, when Dove attended an ES&S junket in LV, Kemp’s office was in the market to replace the state’s...voting machines.” 5/
According to @CREWcrew, “‘It’s highly inappropriate for any election official to be accepting anything of value from a primary contractor...It shocks the conscience.’” 6/
“Earlier this month, Georgia’s SAFE Commission voted to recommend that the state replace its touch-screen voting machines with newer, similarly vulnerable [#BarcodeBalloting] machines, which will be produced by ES&S at an estimated cost of $100 MILLION.” 7/
In recommending these #BarcodeBalloting systems, the Georgia SAFE Commission “rejected the advice of computer scientists & election-integrity advocates, who consider HAND-marked ballots to be the ‘most reliable record of voter intent...” 🖐 🖐 🖐 9/
Georgia shows “how voting-system venders, in PARTNERSHIP with elected officials, can jeopardize the democratic process by influencing municipalities to buy proprietary, inscrutable voting devices that are infinitely less secure than paper-ballot systems that cost 3x less.” 10/
“The influence-peddling that has beset Georgia’s voting-system procurement began years earlier, in 2002, when the legislature eliminated a requirement that the state’s voting machines produce an independent audit trail of each vote cast.” 11/
In 2002, “Cathy Cox [the GA Secty of State], signed a $54 MILLION contract w/ the election-machine vender Diebold” whose lobbyist was “former GA secretary of state Lewis Massey...The revolving door between the GA state govt. & the election venders was just beginning to spin.” 12/
“In 2006, a bill requiring a verifiable paper record of each ballot, introduced in the Georgia legislature at the urging of election-integrity advocates, failed after the state’s elections director, Kathy Rogers, opposed it. Rogers, of course, later went to work for ES&S.” 13/
A lawsuit ensued, & in the 3 years it “wended its way thru the courts, where it was eventually dismissed by the GA Supreme Court, the new SOS, Karen Handel,..received 25k dollars in campaign contributions from employees & family members associated w/ [the vender’s lobbyist].” 14/
In 2012, Charles Harper registered to lobby for the “office of the Georgia Secty of State, Brian Kemp, where he served as legislative director.” In 2017, as Kemp ramped up his gubernatorial campaign, Harper let that registration expire & “registered to lobby for ES&S.” 15/
“Around the same time, John Bozeman, then the head of legislative affairs for Georgia’s former governor, Sonny Perdue (who is now the Secretary of Agriculture in the Trump Administration), also registered to lobby on behalf of [ES&S].” 16/
“After Kemp won the governor’s race, in November, he named Harper, whose contract with E.S. & S. ended in June, 2018, to his transition team. Harper is now Kemp’s deputy chief of staff.” 17/
18/ To be continued.... or u can read the rest of this fantastic @suehalpernVT piece yourself! Yes, it addresses the dangers of ES&S’s #BarcodeBalloting system that Kemp is determined to buy even though IT experts advise against it & recommend #handmarked #paperballots.
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