PA decertifies voting machines

Fulton County Pennsylvania’s voting machines were decertified after local officials conducted the GOP-backed ballot audit through a third-party contractor, according to The Washington Examiner

The county will be doing away with their Dominion Democracy Suite 5.5A voting system, which was used in the 2020 presidential election after the software company Wake TSI was allowed to gain access to the machines.

WAKE TSI was given access in December of 2020 to look over its “election database, results files, and Windows system logs,” acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid told county officials in a letter on Tuesday.

Degraffenreid said that he believed the company had “no knowledge or expertise in election technology,” and that the ballot hardware was “compromised” due to the third party’s experience being primarily in the healthcare sector.

“These actions were taken in a manner that was not transparent or bipartisan,” Degraffenreid wrote.

“As a result of the access granted to Wake TSI, Fulton County’s certified system has been compromised and neither Fulton County; the vendor, Dominion Voting Systems; nor the Department of State can verify that the impacted components of Fulton County’s leased voting system are safe to use in future elections.”

Wake TSI found that the election in Fulton County was “well run” and “conducted in a diligent and effective manner,” but said that this this “does not indicate that there were no issues with the election, just that they were not the fault of the County Election Commission or County Election Director,” according to a report in February.

“Please know that I did not arrive at this decision lightly,” Degraffenreid said in the letter. “I have a statutory obligation to examine, evaluate and certify electronic voting systems. These reviews include verifying that the voting system conforms to federal and state law and any regulations or standards regarding confidentiality, security, accuracy, safety, reliability, usability, accessibility, durability, resiliency, and auditability.”

The acting Secretary of State warned all counties in the state of Pennsylvania that any attempts to allow outside contractors access to audit information from their voting machines would end in the same decommissioning saying that Pennsylvania “will not reimburse any cost of replacement voting” hardware if the mandate to keep the machines away from non-election officials.