Grady County Board of Commissioners Meeting, October 17, 2023


No bank would allow a teller to close out their money drawer until all the money had been counted and the debits/credits balanced. Why should we treat our votes (property) any differently? In addition, we wouldn’t allow our vote to be counted in secret in a back room. That’s what is happening NOW in a black box with software that is not transparent to the public.

Many times, it has been addressed to this board that 21-2-300 requires the use of machines. But you can’t just apply part of the law, you have to apply the whole law.  21-2-300 also says that the ballots shall be in a format readable by the elector.  The QR code is not humanly readable, it is being tabulated by proprietary software.  The QR creates a spoiled ballot. Continuing to utilize this system is injuring the voters of Grady County. It is depriving us of our property which is knowing our vote is counted as desired.

The Election Superintendent is required per oath of office to “make a true and perfect return of such primaries and elections, …”.   So, how is just transferring the numbers from a machine tabulator tape to a reporting document sufficient to verify that the count is true and perfect enough for certification? 

I recommend a member of the Board of Commissioners make a motion to pass a resolution so that the Board of Commissioners go on the record they support using Emergency Paper Ballot procedures per Georgia Rules & Regulations 183-1-12-.11(2)(c)(d) and performing a hand count of the physical paper (absentee/emergency) ballots at the precinct as allowed by 21-2-334 for a proper certification in addition to the tabulator scanning.  And, that a copy of the official vote be immediately forwarded to the Secretary of State.

This provides you with an affirmative defense that you are concerned about the security and integrity of the voting machine equipment and that you are taking appropriate steps to provide a true and perfect return.  

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“Injured” graphic courtesy of Wayne Cannady


GA Code § 21-2-300 (2022)
As soon as possible, once such equipment is certified by the Secretary of State as safe and practicable for use, all federal, state, and county general primaries and general elections as well as special primaries and special elections in the State of Georgia shall be conducted with the use of scanning ballots marked by electronic ballot markers and tabulated by using ballot scanners for voting at the polls and for absentee ballots cast in person, unless otherwise authorized by law; provided, however, that such electronic ballot markers shall produce paper ballots which are marked with the elector’s choices in a format readable by the elector.

GA Code § 21-2-334 (2022)
If a method of nomination or election for any candidate or office, or of voting on any question is prescribed by law, in which the use of voting machines is not possible OR practicable, or in case, at any primary or election, the number of candidates seeking nomination or nominated for any office renders the use of voting machines for such office at such primary or election impracticable, or if, for any other reason, at any primary or election the use of voting machines wholly or in part is not practicable, the superintendent may arrange to have the voting for such candidates or offices or for such questions conducted by paper ballots. In such cases, paper ballots shall be printed for such candidates, offices, or questions, and the primary or election shall be conducted by the poll officers, and the ballots shall be counted and return thereof made in the manner required by law for such nominations, offices, or questions, insofar as paper ballots are used.

Comment: Impossible ≠ Impracticable: the Georgia code section states, possible OR practicable, which means there are 2 different meanings and 2 different standards.
§  Impossible: “The fact or condition of not being able to occur, exist or be done.” (Black’s Law Dictionary)
§  Impracticable: contract law: excessively difficult, expensive, or harmful condition that excuses a party to the contract from performing.  The condition or act is possible, but not feasible to perform at a loss.

GA Code § 21-2-366 (2022)
The governing authority of any county or municipality may, at any regular meeting or at a special meeting called for the purpose, by a majority vote authorize and direct the use of optical scanning voting systems for recording and computing the vote at elections held in the county or municipality. If so authorized and directed, the governing authority shall purchase, lease, rent, or otherwise procure optical scanning voting systems conforming to the requirements of this part.

Comment: If the county has the authority to authorize and direct the use of optical scanning voting systems for recording and computing the vote at elections, then it follows they have the right to not use or use in conjunction with the emergency procedures.

Georgia Rules & Regulations 183-1-12.11(2)(c)(d)
(c) If an emergency situation makes utilizing the electronic ballot markers impossible or impracticable, as determined by the election superintendent, the poll officer shall issue the voter an emergency paper ballot that is to be filled out with a pen after verifying the identity of the voter and that the person is a registered voter of the precinct. Emergency paper ballots shall not be treated as provisional ballots, but instead shall be placed into the scanner in the same manner that printed ballots in the polling place are scanned. The election superintendent shall cause each polling place to have a sufficient amount of emergency paper ballots so that voting may continue uninterrupted if emergency circumstances render the electronic ballot markers or printers unusable. For any primary or general election for which a state or federal candidate is on the ballot, a sufficient amount of emergency paper ballots shall be at least 10% of the number of registered voters to a polling place. The poll manager shall store all emergency ballots in a secure manner and ensure that all used and unused emergency ballots are accounted for. All unused emergency ballots shall be placed into a secure envelope and sealed such that the envelope cannot be opened without breaking such seal.
(d)           If an emergency situation exists that makes voting on the electronic ballot markers impossible or impracticable, the poll manager shall alert the election superintendent as soon as possible. The existence of an emergency situation shall be in the discretion of the election supervisor. However, if a poll manager is unable to contact the election superintendent after diligent effort, the poll manager shall have the ability to declare that an emergency situation exists at the polling place. The poll manager shall continue diligent efforts to contact the election superintendent, and shall inform the superintendent as soon as possible of the situation at the polling place. The election superintendent, in his or her discretion, shall either overrule or concur with the declaration of emergency circumstances. While the determination of an emergency situation is in the discretion of the election superintendent, the types of events that may be considered emergencies are power outages, malfunctions causing a sufficient number of electronic ballot markers to be unavailable for use, or waiting times longer than 30 minutes.

On October 3, 2023, a number of Georgia citizens attended the State Election Board meeting in Atlanta.  During the public comment period, a resolution signed by them was read and hand delivered to the board members.  This resolution, a copy of which is enclosed, calls for the State Election Board to provide clarity to election boards and superintendents of their authority under the law to utilize emergency hand marked paper ballots rules and procedures per Georgia Rules & Regulations 183-1-12-.11(2)(c)&(d).  This is needed due to the reasons outlined in the enclosed resolution.

We ask that the Secretary of State and the State Election Board come together on this matter for the good of the people of this state. A hand marked paper ballot will show full voter intent and a hand count of all races in conjunction with the tabulator count will help restore transparency and trust in Georgia’s elections. 

For links to all cited code and reports, download this original PDF. Feel free to repurpose and present to your local Board of Commissioners, Board of Elections and/or Election Superintendents.

Guest article by Kate Scarmalis

Ever been given the bum’s rush?

On no uncertain terms, that is how Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger chose to treat a small assemblage of concerned citizens who were patiently waiting to see him.

Raffensperger arrived at the Board of Elections Office in Lee County on September 14th to administer health checks on the Dominion voting machines housed inside its locked warehouse.

In his letter to members of Georgia’s General Assembly, “Setting the Election Security Record Straight”, Brad Raffensperger assured the public at large that:

“Every single piece of voting equipment across Georgia will undergo security health checks ahead of the 2024 presidential elections, including verification that no software has been tampered with.”

Interested parties who showed up at the scene expected a short statement or two from him, de minimis.  Concerned citizens, decked out in their “Paper Please” tee shirts, were determined to make the case that trust in the results from Dominion voting machines has been vastly misplaced.

People expected to be heard.

Raffensperger – he came; he did his little thing with the voting machines in the backroom; then he left interested citizens eating his dust as he scampered back to his van.

Hat tip goes out to Field Searcy (in defense of, who recorded Raffensperger’s ignominious retreat.  From the Georgians For Truth website, (printed here with permission), watch the man as he scurries away from Field’s well placed questions.  (

Seeing is believing.

Is this man not an elected official? Are government officials not beholden to “We the People” for their policies?

Georgians need reassurance to feel that the votes they cast, now and in the future, are safe and valid.

And there they stand, waiting, those handy, dandy voting machines – so much glitzier than marking a paper ballot. Glitzier and decidedly less work-intensive, but are these machine-tallied results valid and reliable?

Specifically, do the Dominion voting machines record and tally our votes accurately?

The case has been made that the Dominion voting machines have security issues that have yet to be fully addressed.

J. Alex Halderman is a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan, where he is also director of the Center for Computer Security & Society. Halderman made heads turn as early as 2017 when he released his findings that the voting machines then in use had distinct cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Dr. Halderman was asked to give testimony before the June 2017 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.  The evidence he provided raised some heads; until that point the idea of a hacked election seemed a faraway fanciful notion.

Other technologists and elections integrity experts have warned members of Congress about hidden vulnerabilities of voting machines. State officials and the doggedly-loyal election machine vendors have repeatedly insisted that they have it all under control.

Halderman delivered a wake up call to the Senate, to our country’s most powerful people. He doesn’t believe in sugar-coating his message or pussy-footing around.

Working within his own laboratory set-up, Halderman gave testimony addressing the issue in terms that any layman might understand.

“We’ve created attacks that can spread from machine to machine like a computer virus and silently change election outcomes.  We studied touch screens and optical scan systems. And in every single case, we found ways for attackers to sabotage machines and to steal votes. These capabilities are certainly within reach for America’s enemies.”

According to Ron Watkins, a technical analyst and a colleague of Dr. Halderman, the Dominion user’s manual glaringly exposes the vulnerabilities of the software system.  Watkins thoroughly examined the manual with the mindset of a penetration tester.  He learned from the outset that administrative access to the software leads to direct access to how the ballots are counted.

Evidence from such diverse sources should have been sufficient to stir up the loins of the executives at Dominion, as well as our state leaders. 

So far, we have heard nothing more than unsupported allegations from Brad Raffensperger that Georgia’s voters’ use of Dominion voting machines is safe and accurate, accompanied by mumbled excuses and exculpatory remarks.

The question still stands and rages in our minds. If a hacker is able to infect the Dominion machine through brief contact by a single malefactor, how can we trust the results?

If vote-switching is within the realm of reality, should more concern be given to the possibility that the QR code at the top of our printed ballot does not reflect our true selections that were made on a Ballot Marking Device (BMD)?

In 2020, U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Totenberg ruled, in Curling v. Raffensperger, that Georgia’s voting system violates Georgia Law O.C.G.A. 21-2-300(a)(2) because the elector’s voting choice uses a QR code to identify vote selections. Georgia law requires our votes be produced in a “format readable by the elector. . . The QR code Georgia’s voting system produces is a computer code humans cannot read.”

In 2022, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an advisory based on Halderman’s report urging election officials to take steps to mitigate the risks “as soon as possible”.

A Dominion software security patch is available to update and address the voting machine’s vulnerabilities.  Raffensperger told a Federal Court that he has no plans to apply the security update until after 2025, conveniently following the 2024 election.

Dr. Halderman responded that delaying the security patch update is “worse than doing nothing.”

Doing nothing?  No problem.  Raffensperger has that down pat.

 Kate Scarmalis, retired and loving life, is currently working on her novel, “Tell No Tales”.

Election integrity activists from all over Georgia attended the October 3rd Georgia State Election Board meeting. Unlike the previous meeting where public input was held during the morning session, public comments were moved to the end of the day and many could not stay. Notice the absence of Chairman Duffy who resigned after the last meeting. Go to the second video below State Elections Board 10.03.23 Part 2 for the public comments.

04:53:00 Public comments