Political Insider

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Kemp could be forced to testify at paper ballot hearing


Secretary of State Brian Kemp could be forced to testify at a hearing this month involving a federal lawsuit seeking to make the state switch to paper ballots.

Some of the elections security advocates who filed the complaint seek to serve the Republican candidate for governor with a subpoena to appear and testify at the Sept. 12 hearing before U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg.

It’s unclear if he’ll have to appear, and his attorneys with the Barnes Law Group – recall that former Gov. Roy Barnes is representing Kemp in this complaint – declined to comment. But the judge could quash the subpoena if she determines it’s not necessary.

Kemp’s office has warned the November vote would be “plunged into chaos” if the state is forced to adopt a paper verification for the 27,000 touchscreen voting machines that plaintiffs say are vulnerable to hacking.

“There is no ‘paper-ballot fairy’ who, with magic wand at ready, can save plaintiffs’ half-baked ‘plans’ from devolving into a fiasco,” according to the brief.

Some of the plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to make some form of paper ballots available at all precincts. Although there’s no evidence that hacker have infiltrated the elections system, the plaintiffs say paper backups will help ensure the results can’t be changed.

 


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.