Georgia’s elections director in November sent a memo warning counties that voting machine software was not subject to open record requests as public demand was growing for transparency over Dominion software and other electronic poll book data.
“Multiple counties have reported receiving Open Records Requests asking for data information such as, copies of original software for the voting equipment, copies of any software patches performed on Dominion voting machines in the State of Georgia prior to the November 3, 2020 General Election, as well as copies of any thumb drives provided to you containing software or software updates.” states the memo from Chris Harvey, Georgia Elections Division Director.
“Under the Open Records Act, providing copies of software, software updates, or thumb drives containing software or software updates is not subject to open records requests,” the memo says. “In addition, information that could harm the security of election equipment cannot be provided.”
The memo was made public on Dec. 17 by a local voter integrity campaigner.
The secretary of state’s office declined to comment on the matter, but did not deny the authenticity of the letter when contacted by the Epoch Times.
It was sent to county election officials and county registrars.
The memo also told them they could not release information in KNOWiNK poll book log files as it contains information protected under the Georgia Trade Secrets Act and the Open Records Act.
The memo cites Georgia law, which states “documents or information that, if made public, would endanger the security of any voting system used or being considered for use in this state, or any component thereof, including, but not limited to, electronic ballot markers, DREs, ballot scanners, poll books, and software or data bases used for voter registration, shall not be open for public inspection except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger holds a press conference on the status of ballot counting in Atlanta, Ga., on Nov. 6, 2020. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
Those who are convinced of election irregularities in the state have been frustrated by the reluctance of state officials, including Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, to scrutinize the voting process more closely.
Georgia’s House speaker on Thursday announced that he’s seeking to replace the state’s top election official amid a barrage of criticism from the GOP, President Donald Trump, and a bevy of state lawmakers.
Georgia’s House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican, told reporters in Atlanta that he is going to try to get a constitutional amendment passed that would take the power to select the secretary of state from voters and give it to legislators.
“I think it’s time in Georgia that we look at an alternative way of electing our secretary of state,” Ralston said at a press conference. “I’m dead serious about this.”
Issues of election security in the state are even more significant due to the impending run-off election that will settle the balance of power in the United States Senate.
Raffensperger asked researchers at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs to conduct the check, including a “randomized signature match study of election materials handled at the county level in the November 3 Presidential contest.”
Researchers will also examine the county-level processes used to match signatures on absentee ballots and their envelopes.
Zachary Stieber and Katabella Roberts contributed to this report.