Group calls on Perdue to appoint independent as interim Secretary of State

December 30, 2009 15:59 pm

by Jason · 10 comments

In the wake of Karen Handel’s resignation, Voter GA has sent out a press release for a group called “VOTER” calling on Gov. Sonny Perdue to appoint a political independent to oversee elections:

A voting rights group announced today that it has sent a letter to Governor Sonny Perdue, stating what may be critical qualifications for the new Secretary of State (SOS) he will appoint. The group, Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia, is a diverse, non-partisan, technology neutral, coalition of Georgia voters and organizations. They contend that the new secretary “should be independent of both major political parties” and “have no direct or indirect ties with the voting machine vendor lobbyist, Massey and Bowers.” They believe that the lobbyist “has been allowed to exercise undue influence and control over the office of the Secretary of State for the last 8 years to benefit the vendor.”

The letter cites examples for both the current and previous secretaries. It explains that in 2002 despite numerous warnings, SOS Cathy Cox, entered into an agreement to purchase $54 million in voting equipment from Diebold Election Systems while her former boss, Lewis Massey was a lobbyist for the vendor. The group also contends that the equipment did not have an independent audit trail of each vote cast as required by law at the time. Since then, the equipment has been the subject of intense national scrutiny and ridicule. Diebold recently spun off the division, renamed it Premier Election Systems and is attempting to sell it to ES&S.

Whoever Perdue appoints would sit hold the office until January 2011, assuming they don’t seek re-election.

You can view the full press release here.

fishtail December 30, 2009 at 4:52 pm

After reading the full press release, it does make one believe there may be a slight whiff of cronyism coming from Handel’s office. I don’t blame Massey and Bowers for putting their man in the number 2 SOS spot, just smart move by them but it looks bad to the casual observer..

NonPartisanGA December 30, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Shocking….another unbiased assessment of Karen Handel from the epitome of objectivity Fishtail…LOL

To those tin foil hats wanting voting machines with receipts:

1) Where will GA get the $60-80 million to replace the machines with our revenue shortfalls?

2) Can you name a voting machine vendor who sells a federally certified voting machine that issues receipts?

Game Fan December 30, 2009 at 9:59 pm

NonPartisanGA
Normally when someone derides a group of people they come up with something to actually back up their opinion (of the people they’re talking about) Your comment did nothing to assuage people’s concerns about computerized voting without a paper trail. I figure if we can put a man on the moon and invent an adding machine and a cash register (both spit out paper receipts) then how about a paper trail here? This ain’t rocket science.

Rick Day December 31, 2009 at 1:09 am

1. a new medical marijuana tax, and a budget cut from prison system should do the job nicely, and then some.

2. Why do we have to use touchscreens? The system we had earlier was more accurate, it just took longer for the local newscasts to mete out results. Oh yes, I forgot; we are in the I WANT IT NOW Century. In that case, the new Sequoya Systems New Jersey certified DRE’s have your VVPAT working just fine.

what was that about an aluminum foil fedora again?

fishtail December 31, 2009 at 9:58 am

Well, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

Steve Perkins December 31, 2009 at 1:40 pm

1) Where will GA get the $60-80 million to replace the machines with our revenue shortfalls?

From the same source we used to switch from paper to unverifiable machines just a mere 7 or so years ago? LOL… you make it sound these machine are established tradition passed down from our grandparents or the Founding Fathers or something.

Seriously though, those Diebold machines are basically just Windows PC’s running Microsoft Access. You probably wouldn’t need to scrap the entire machine, but rather just install a software update and attach a $20 receipt printer like any mom-n-pop dry cleaners.

2) Can you name a voting machine vendor who sells a federally certified voting machine that issues receipts?

I can’t name a single car maker that WANTS to adhere to California engineering standards. However, the state says that what’s you have to do in order to do business there, and magically they all provide the product. If Georgia said we need our voting machines to have a verifiable paper receipt, then it would be available. Again, it’s likely just a software update anyway.

ready2rumble December 30, 2009 at 9:35 pm

In addition to NPGA questions – who bought the Diebold machines?

Rick Day December 31, 2009 at 1:10 am

Iran. See how well they worked?

Dave Bearse December 30, 2009 at 11:09 pm

The Richardson affair revelations undermine any reason to believe the GOP has been any better than the preceding Dems the GOP slammed as unethical.

Perdue’s handling of the SOS appointment can work to dispel warranted concern, or further establish a pattern.

The pity is Georgia voters are so ill-informed they wouldn’t notice the appointment (not election) of a guy as partisan as Randy Evans to the constitutional office in charge of elections.

Rick Day December 31, 2009 at 12:57 am

Makes perfect sense; ergo, it will never happen.

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