At what point, given the mysterious election day glitches, battles over preserving the machines as-is, and now the latest, a server crash in the largest county in Georgia during the second official recount, can we come together and acknowledge there might be a problem with the voting machines used in the 2020 election? Just The News reports:
Election officials in Fulton County, Ga., said Sunday that a new Dominion Voting Systems mobile server crashed, delaying the state’s third recount of the presidential election. Systems technicians from Dominion have been sent to the scene to resolve the issue.
The deadline to recount the votes in Georgia (the state’s second official recount) is midnight Dec. 2.
Local news outlets report that about 88% of ballots in Fulton — the state’s largest county — have been counted. The recount is set to resume again on Monday.
It’s becoming clearer by the day that, no matter the election outcome, nor the outcome of the lawsuits alleging the machines were designed to flip votes, the technology employed during the 2020 election was fraught with problems leading to serious questions about accurate vote totals and machine access during the election.
The glitch in Georgia, which led to polls being kept open a few hours longer, was initially blamed on “human error” but, nine days later, there was disagreement between representatives of the voting machine company and the supervisor of the Spalding County Board of Elections, where the election night glitch occurred.
State election officials and Dominion acknowledge that there was a problem with the poll books but have been adamant that no such last-minute update occurred and that no change was made to the pollbooks after Oct. 31. Dominion also denies that any of its representatives ever told [Marcia Ridley of the Spalding County Board of Elections’] staff that someone from the company had made an update.
In a statement Thursday, Ridley said that Dominion has assured her that “no system can be updated remotely without the knowledge of [the company],” indicating that an update could not have been made by anyone else either without detection.
The same thing happened in Antrim County, Michigan, when a Republican was initially counted the loser in a race, only to later be given the win following investigation of a “glitch” that was ultimately blamed on human error.
“The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim county was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County clerk,” the state agency that oversees elections said in a news release.
There was no problem with the voting machines or vote totals, which were preserved on tapes printed from the tabulators, the state said. The problem occurred when the totals by precinct were combined into candidate county-wide totals for transfer to the state, using election management system software, the state agency said.
The Michigan situation makes the decision Monday by a federal judge in Georgia to issue a temporary restraining order to block wiping of the voting machines used parts of the state a good one.
The order was issued as a part of attorney Sidney Powell’s ongoing election lawsuit in Georgia and was the third emergency order issued Sunday night to ensure “voting machines be seized and impounded immediately for forensic audit by plaintiffs’ experts,” according to Powell’s suit.
However, Judge Timothy Batten Sr. told Powell that her request to seize and impound the voting machines failed because the voting equipment she wants to impound is in the possession of county election officials. So any injunction the court issues would extend only to the defendants and those within their control.
Still, Batten told Powell she could amend her complaint by adding election officials in relevant counties to the list, and in the meantime, defendants are “enjoined and restrained from altering, destroying, or erasing, or allowing the alteration, destruction, or erasure of, any software or data on any Dominion voting machine in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee counties.”
The effect of the judge’s order is that the voting machines will not be allowed to be touched for the sake of resetting or reprogramming by election officials until Powell has had time to amend her lawsuit.
What all of this confusion seems destined to reveal is that there appears to be a real problem with the voting machines used in the 2020 election, even if it’s only an issue of a poor product and bad customer service. The lawsuits certainly seek to reveal that the problems run deeper than that. Regardless, counties — particularly in Georgia as a contentious runoff race begins — should reconsider their use if they can. And make sure they’re running smoothly and monitored closely on election night if they cannot.