December 26, 2020
Dear Georgia Election Officials,
As Georgia citizens interested in fair elections, we urge you to enable counties to run a transparent, accurate, and secure election January 5. You can restore trust in the process central to a democracy by implementing the following ideas.
BALLOT COUNTING: Counting ballots by hand in plain sight of monitors from both parties did a lot to calm fears during the November election. This should be done again in the January run-off. Electronic scanning can be used as a check on the accuracy of manual counting, but should not be the sole method of determining official results.
Another controversy that led to the three recounts in November was the use of ballot marking devices (BMDs). These QR-embedded votes cannot be reliably audited. Preferably, the human-readable printout should be used in a manual count.
BALLOT RECONCILIATION: Accurate ballot counting should rely on accurate canvassing before county certification, and the SEB should mandate it. The number of voters needs to be reconciled to the number of ballots counted, as thousands of ballots were missed in the initial certified count in November.
POST-ELECTION AUDITS: There are no announced plans for post-election audits. However, given the importance of the races and the widely expressed concerns about Georgia’s voting system, a post-election official hand recount for all three races should be part of your voting plan. This decision should be made and announced prior to the election, before controversy sets in. Obtain a court order for an official hand recount prior to state certification under the discretionary recount statutes.
POSTING OF POLL TAPES: Poll tapes should be posted so as to be visible from the street-side in protected, clearly lit and visible areas. In addition, an improvement in security and transparency would be to post them inside the polling place for a set time after the poll closes, to allow bi-partisan poll watchers and election officials to photograph the records.
You have the opportunity to make Georgia a model of how elections should be run during this contentious time in American history. Both parties and your election officials will be relieved to have a smooth-running and openly transparent election with verifiable results that will be trusted by all.
America is the largest democracy in the world. We need to have elections that reflect that.
Thanks for your attention,