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No paper trail: Georgia’s antiquated voting system prevents an audit for hacks

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The polls are closing in Georgia following the most expensive congressional election in American history. As results are announced, there’s significant controversy over the credibility of those results.

“Georgia’s voting issues aren’t rooted in any specific hacking threat,” reports Wired. “The problem instead lies in the state’s inability to prove if fraud or tampering happened in the first place.”

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The state of Georgia has 27,000 voting machines from the now-defunct Premier Election Systems (formerly known as Diebold) and 6,000 ExpressPoll machines — also made by Diebold. None of the machines have a paper trail.

“You have an un-provable system,” says Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting told Wired. “It might be right, it might not be right, and that absence of authoritative confirmation is the biggest problem. It’s corrosive.”

The lack of a paper-trail to verify results isn’t the only problem with Georgia’s election system.

“Our machines haven’t been updated since 2005, they’re running on Windows 2000,” the policy director at Common Cause Georgia, Sara Henderson, told Wired. “It’s ridiculous.”

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Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) declined a 2016 offer from the Department of Homeland Security to help the state safeguard their election systems.

Last week, ABC News reported that Secretary of State Kemp, “contested a lawsuit demanding the state abandon its antiquated touchscreen voting machines , which are highly susceptible to being rigged by hackers in all-but-undetectable ways, and whose votes couldn’t be reliably recounted.”

If NSA reports are to be believed, it is not only possible but probable that Georgia’s election systems have been compromised.

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Georgia does allow recounts, but only in precincts where paper ballots have been used. The vast majority of precincts in Georgia do not use paper ballots, making recounts impossible.

In precincts where voting machines are used, there is no ability for a recount, only a recanvass.

“In precincts where voting machines have been used, whenever it appears that there is a discrepancy in the returns recorded for any voting machine or machines or that an error, although not apparent on the face of the returns, exists, the superintendent shall, either of his or her own motion or upon the sworn petition of three electors of any precinct, order a recanvass of the votes shown on that particular machine or machines,” the law reads.

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“There’s no way to independently verify individual votes,” Nse Ufot, director of the New Georgia Project, told ThinkProgress. “There have been open letters written by computer science professors and political science professors from universities all across the country to Georgia’s secretary of state. The secretary of state’s response has been that this is a state issue, so we’re going to dismiss them. People are really concerned.”

Polls have closed in the special election to replace former Congressman Tom Price, who vacated the seat after being confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel have both attracted national attention and support.


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John Dean laments Trump probably should be registered as a foreign agent

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While many of President Donald Trump's campaign staffers, advisers or friends have been outed for doing foreign work while being an unregistered foreign agent, one former White House counsel thinks Trump should also probably register.

"In addition to other impeachable offenses, Trump should be charged with failing to register as a foreign agent under FARA," said Twitter user Connie Gruen.

Dean noticed the tweet and retweeted with his own note that it's "sadly" probably true.

"Sadly, this is probably true," agreed Dean. "Mueller did not investigate if Trump is, in fact, a Russian agent. Barr does not believe a POTUS can be investigated for anything, so the FBI is not. Because he acts like a RU agent Congress should be investigating his consistently pro-RU behavior!"

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Kanye ripped for latest Trump defense: Always someone willing to write a check to ‘a black person defending white supremacy’

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Kanye West hugging Trump

A panel discussion on recent concerts put on by Kanye West in Salt Lake City and Howard University turned to his new recent comments he made defending his support for Donald Trump -- with one panelist saying the rapper is getting paid on the side for siding with the president.

Speaking with host Kendis Gibson, guests Danielle Moodie-Mills and Clay Cane were harshly critical of West trying to drum up black support for the president as well as his recent comments on slavery.

"What is going on here?" Gibson began. "So you saw the pictures of Kanye West in the middle of Salt Lake City. He drew about 10,000 people here at Howard University, it was a smaller crowd because they didn't get the e-mail about it until 6:00 a.m. on homecoming weekend. Largely, a lot of people who are going to these shows are black folks. These are some of the scenes in Salt Lake City, so people are wondering: is he sort of like Trump's secret weapon, a secret outreach to the black community? "

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Here are 3 moves a desperate Trump will likely attempt in order to cling to power

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In a column for the Daily Beast, political observer Micheal Tomasky speculated -- and not without good reason -- that a frantic Donald Trump will do anything to remain in office and thereby avoid being slammed with criminal indictments once he departs the Oval Office for good..

As the columnist explained, impeachment seems inevitable and the president will likely take desperate measures and that he has already given hints about three paths he may take -- if not all of them.

Tomasky wrote, "It’s foolish to say that Trump thinks ahead about anything. The late journalist Wayne Barrett said many true things about Trump, but the truest ever was when he observed that Trump says whatever will get him through the next 10 minutes," before adding, "People around him of course are more strategic and are thinking ahead. And they’re all saying and doing and writing things right now that will, if the opportunity presents itself, pave the way for Trump to burn the Constitution."

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