Why are Georgia’s election officials lying about the stolen poll books?

It’s not that hard to figure out that someone is lying.  There are the inevitable tells:

In order to convince the accuser, a liar may respond to an allegation with a truthful statement that casts him in a favorable light.


Going into attack mode against the questioner

But usually it’s just too darn hard to keep your stories straight.  That’s what trips people up. That’s what’s causing Brian Kemp’s story about stolen poll books to unravel. His office first reported that the poll books were stolen from a Cobb County precinct manager’s car. Not to worry said Kemp’s office:

the stolen machine, known as an ExpressPoll unit, cannot be used to fraudulently vote in Tuesday’s election but that it does contain a copy of Georgia’s statewide voter file

Not a question that anyone was asking, but ok. It’s not a small point however that it was not a single stolen machine, but five of them.

Oh, and by the way:

the poll book that was stolen did have a flash card with a voter list on it. But, it does require some knowledge or expertise to use machine to retrieve the information.

Wherever would someone get “some knowledge?”  It better be hard to do because, like a needle being passed among addicts in some back alley that flash card is a perfect vehicle for delivering malware to voting machines. And there are now five of them out there.

Kemp was upset that it took a couple days for Cobb County officials to let him know they had screwed up, but then it was all ok because the missing machines had been found in a dumpster.  Until they weren’t: “…safe in a landfill,” was the reassuring message from election officials.

Kemp was so relieved he had a ceremony for the police officers who “recovered the stolen equipment.” Except that they actually did not recover the stolen equipment, which was safe in a landfill.  “Too expensive to dig it up…” they said.

Finally, in an attempt to put the whole thing to bed, Kemp’s Office had to reassure us:

…no voter information had been taken from the stolen voting equipment and the equipment was destroyed before being placed in a landfill.

Now how the heck did they know that?  Police never actually had the machines in their possession, so how did they know they had been destroyed? And how would you know whether voter information had been taken from the machines in any event?

There are those flash cards. Those are not mentioned at all.  Were they in the landfill too?

You see where all this is going, don’t you? Taken together not much about this entire story makes much sense, unless you believe that Kemp and Georgia election officials are just making all this up on the spot.  That’s what eventually trips up a liar.

Let’s call in someone who knows a little about tripping up liars.





Brian Kemp’s Unicorns: Georgia cannot prove if fraud or tampering happened in the first place.

Georgia election officials, especially Secretary of State @BrianKempGA, are prone to claim that the Georgia election system has never been hacked. It was a pillar of their argument in front of a Superior Court judge a couple of weeks ago. Absence of evidence should be taken as evidence of absence, according to Kemp, evidently not realizing that this is an argument so stupid it actually has a name. It is called argument from ignorance, a logical fallacy.

People make wild claims, and get away with them, simply on the fact that the converse cannot otherwise be proven.

Shame on anyone in a position of authority who falls for this ruse. We should be equally compelled to believe that unseen, undetectable unicorns run amok in our living rooms at night, unpending furniture and littering carpets but cleaning up so thoroughly that we never know about it.

Yet that is exactly what Georgia wants us to believe, because the voting machines in use there have been precisely engineered to support the undetectable unicorn theory:

As Wired magazine’s analysis made clear last week,

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

According to Pamela Smith, president of the advocacy group @VerifiedVoting,

You have an un-provable system…It might be right, it might not be right, and that absence of authoritative confirmation is the biggest problem. It’s corrosive.

Proudly proclaiming virtues that are impossible to verify should not be rewarded.


What Georgia election officials are doing is as risky as “driving in a heavy rain at 100 miles per hour.”

Logan Lamb and Chris Grayson emerged this week as heroes of a  story that leaves experts and patriots from every political stripe shaking their heads in disbelief. Lamb, who in August 2016 stumbled into an open door at Georgia’s Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University, informed the Center’s director of the vulnerability.

In March [2017], a security colleague Lamb had told about the flaw checked out the center’s website and discovered that the vulnerabilities had only been partially fixed…The researcher Chris Grayson, said he, too was able to access the same voter record databases and other sensitive files in a publicly accessible directory.

Grayson and Lamb were questioned by the FBI. Lamb said he wanted to come forward after an NSA report about Russian hacking of U.S. elections became public.  Grayson said:

At the end of the day we were doing what we thought was in the best interest of the republic.

Experts have warned Georgia Secretaries of State for years that continued use of its outdated and compromised election technology was  risky. Those warning have been dismissed or even ridiculed.  @BrianKemp, the current Georgia SOS, seems content to repeat a now-discredited fiction that the state’s election system is “completely secure.”