Georgia Senate Bill 189 - A Fix or a Miss?

February 24, 2023
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Critics say the bill in it's current form does not address the Dominion contract which calls for the infamous 2D-barcode to be used for tabulation, leaving the results unverifiable.

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Does Senate Bill 189 actually do anything, or it is essentially taking the focus off the real issue?

Essentially SB 189 specifies that only the text portion of a printed ballot will be the "official ballot" used for tabulation and recount of election results.   That's the part of the ballot that humans can read. However what it fails to consider is that the machines themselves continue to produce a "2D-barcode" (sometimes referred to as the QR Code) which appears on each ballot. The machines actually use this non-human-readable code to determine what choices were made by the voter.

As stated in the Dominion contract:

EXHIBIT B (to the contract)

  1. ImageCast X -Prime Touchscreen Ballot Marking Device (ICX-BMD)
    3.1 Application: ImageCast X-Prime BMD is a touchscreen in-person voting device and ballot marking device. … . For all modes of voting, after the voter reviews the ballot selections, a paper ballot is created for the voter from a printer in the voting booth. The printed ballot contains a written summary of the voter’s choices, as well as a 2D barcode which is read by Dominion’s ImageCast Precinct or Central tabulator. … .

Simply saying that only the text portion is the official ballot does nothing to solve the massive concerns seen across Georgia since the 2020 election and the deep distrust that many feel for the accuracy of the electronic voting systems. Nor does it address the tabulation process as defined within the contract.

VoterGA weighed-in with context on the bill and recommended amendments:

SB 189 is sponsored by a list of 18 State Senators:

Ultimately, if senators want to actually solve this problem they need to eliminate electronic voting machines from the election process in Georgia. Ballots should be hand marked, hand counted, and hand tabulated just as is done in many areas around the Country and around the world today.

Recently, the City of Milton voted to separate from Fulton County's electronic voting processes and will perform hand balloting and hand counts going forward. This decision was based on a projected savings of over $250,000 in just the first year of use in this one city.

Election experts continue to say that clean, timely, accurate voter rolls along with hand ballots and hand counts is the best way to ensure election results which reflect the choices of the voters themselves.

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