Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Friday announced several steps his office is taking to ensure ballot security in next year’s elections.
In a call with county election officials from across the state, Blake Evans, director of the secretary of state’s Elections Division, said the state will be conducting “health checks” in all 159 Georgia counties. The health checks will examine election management systems, ballot marking devices, and scanners to verify that the software used in last year’s elections has not been changed.
The secretary of state’s office also will coordinate with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to conduct security assessments of the storage and warehousing of all election equipment in each county, Evans said.
A longer-term undertaking will involve pilot projects to examine the functionality in a real-world setting of new software that has yet to be deployed anywhere in the state. Because the process will require updating nearly 45,000 pieces of voting equipment, the statewide move to the new software isn’t scheduled to take place until after the 2024 elections.
“Election deniers and those with similar claims in the courts may want us to irresponsibly move faster to make this change,” Raffensperger said Friday. “However, I have told our team we will move in a responsible, deliberate, and mature way that will put the needs of voters and our election workers first.”
Raffensperger, a Republican, has been a leader in defending the integrity of Georgia’s 2020 and 2022 elections, including the famous January 2021 phone conversation with then-President Donald Trump when the secretary denied Trump’s claims that the election was rigged and demand for Raffensperger to “find” an additional 11,780 votes. That was the margin Trump would have needed to defeat Joe Biden in Georgia.
Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the Peach State since Bill Clinton in 1992.
Dave Williams writes for Capitol Beat News Service