Free Speech For People’s Senior Advisor for Election Security Susan Greenhalgh, and University of California at Berkley’s Distinguished Professor Philip Stark published a guest post for Rick Hasen’s ElectionLaw Blog on March 4th,  “Setting the record straight on the security review in the Georgia voting machine lawsuit.” 

The post is a rebuttal to a newsletter by Jessica Huseman of Votebeat, which purported to provide context and analysis of the debate over Professor J. Alex Halderman’s security study of the Georgia ballot marking devices. 

“The Votebeat piece was riddled with inaccuracies, flawed assumptions, and faulty conclusions—perhaps because Huseman did not seek comment or context from Prof. Halderman or anyone else directly involved in the plaintiffs’ side of the case,” Greenhalgh and Stark write.

In the Georgia lawsuit, Curling, et al. v. Raffensperger, plaintiffs are seeking the discontinued use of Georgia’s unpopular and unverifiable electronic ballot marking device system, which requires all voters to use a computerized device to mark a paper ballot at the polls. As an expert to plaintiffs, Dr. Halderman conducted a security review of the system and filed a lengthy report which documented serious security vulnerabilities that could be exploited to manipulate votes, while circumventing the safeguards and procedures Georgia has in place. The report remains under seal, and the Georgia Secretary of State has reportedly not sought to review it. 

The blog post seeks to explain the importance of Halderman’s study and to counter Huseman’s faulty conclusions and flawed assumptions derived from sources with no technical expertise. 

The post concludes, the “newsletter makes matters worse by citing as authorities individuals with little technical knowledge, conflicts of interest, and no knowledge of the contents of the report (and who fund Votebeat); by selective and sloppy reporting; and by distortions and inaccuracies. That is not the responsible way to present these issues.”

Read the post here.