Most states have laws that require voting equipment to be tested before each election to ensure they are functioning properly. This process is called Logic and Accuracy Testing “L&A” (or sometimes LAT) and is supposed to be open to the public. Every machine is analyzed through a systematic procedure to make sure the machines record and count votes accurately. They also check that the software on each machine is the proper, certified version and hasn’t been tampered with or manipulated.
In late September of 2020, two counties in Georgia were performing their L&A testing. Both discovered a problem in that the voting machines were not showing the second column of senate candidates. The counties reported the issue to the Secretary of State, who then directed elections officials across the state to cancel L&A testing until the problem could be fixed.
A few days later, on September 30th, a corrected version of the software was distributed to all counties in the state. Because the remedy required changes to the software, the new version had to be installed on every one of the state’s 30,000 machines before the L&A testing could be performed. With less than two weeks before the start of advanced/early voting on October 12th, there wasn’t enough time to schedule and adequately notice the public. The legally required L&A testing had to be completed before advanced/early voting.
Our investigation looked at the L&A testing for three counties, Cobb, Gwinnett, and Fulton. Both Cobb and Gwinnett counties successfully tested their early voting machines and were complete by October 9th. It’s also worth noting that they swiftly provided the testing results and supporting documentation upon request and did so at no charge.
In response to the same open records request submitted to the other counties, Fulton County returned the following:
While it’s important to give an institution from whom you’re seeking records the benefit of the doubt and respect the process, this is not one of those times. Charging a fee of $605.40 for 30 hours of work and a planned delay of 30-plus days to produce a document that should be on file, is nothing but unveiled obstructionism and simply unacceptable.
The reply to the email above is provided below because it is relevant to the situation and circumstances. Knowing that Mr. Rosenberg, the Fulton County Open Records Custodian, is an attorney, does his job well, and is a person for whom this author has the utmost respect, Mr. Rosenberg can only provide that which he is given.
Despite not having the documents from Fulton County, our investigation established a definitive timeline, nonetheless. For example, the Board of Elections minutes for a regular meeting on October 8th provides important points of reference:
The minutes establish that as of October 8th, Dominion was in the process of installing the new software on Fulton’s machines, and the county had not yet started the L&A testing. With only three days before early voting was set to begin, it made the prospect of completing Logic and Accuracy testing within that small window, remote.
In the week following our email exchange with Fulton County, they had a change of heart, and some records were produced that showed the Logic and Accuracy testing was, in fact, completed; however, that’s not all they revealed.
Relevant email correspondence was provided between Fulton County Director of Elections Rick Barron and the person coordinating the testing, Ryan Macias of The Elections Group (more to come soon on this group). Below is one of the emails from a thread spanning until after the election:
Readers will likely remember Mr. Macias as the Democrat operative who was reportedly caught attempting to enter the Maricopa Senate audit under the guise of a reporter. He was also one of the audit observers subsequently appointed by Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and the former acting Director of Certification at the Election Assistance Commission, or “EAC.”
The people doing the L&A testing that Mr. Macias was overseeing were not county employees, but 3 others from the Elections Group and 30 from Dominion that the county contracted at the rate of $2000 per person per day. The reason given for the abnormal and expensive management decision was due to a COVID outbreak among warehouse staff.
The emails reference an Excel spreadsheet attachment that was not provided; however, we were given an image of the spreadsheet captured after the testing was completed. The relevant portion of the spreadsheet showing the early/advanced voting precincts is below:
Outlined in red is the L&A testing “completed dates.” Nearly all show October 31st, but early voting started on October 12th and ended October 30th. It’s no coincidence that the testing for the early voting precincts coincided with the end of early voting and were among the last to be tested.
To remove the possibility of an unbelievable Gabriel-Sterling-like explanation such as “the early voting machines needed to be tested again,” the applicable Georgia statute states:
183-1-12-.08 Logic and Accuracy Testing
b. On or before the third day preceding the advance voting period, the election superintendent shall commence the preparation and testing of the electronic poll books, electronic ballot markers, printers, and ballot scanners for use during the advance voting period. Voting system components that passed logic and accuracy testing for advance voting do not have to be re-tested for use on Election Day for the same election, unless there is a change in the programming or database used by the component.
We know from the election board meeting minutes cited above that Dominion was installing the new software on October 8th, and according to Rick Barron, they were “on-site completing those changes.” Had county officials followed thereafter with the L&A testing before early voting began on the 12th, there would be no reason to test the machines at the end of the month as documented in the spreadsheet log.
L&A testing on the machines used for early voting should have been done on the 10th and 11th, but it wasn’t performed until the 31st. The only reason to test those voting machines after early voting ended is because they weren’t tested before it began.
There is another piece of evidence that affirms that the machines used for early voting were not L&A tested until after early voting. We obtained a copy of an email from a Dominion executive to Rick Barron in which he explains the work previously performed and justification for the amount billed. This references some of the work included in a Fulton County invoice totaling nearly $2,000,000 revealed in a recent report. Because it is rather lengthy, the entire email is provided at the end of the article, and just the relevant excerpt is below:
“Dominion continued to provide L&A Testers operating on 2 shifts throughout the week of 10/26/20 through 11/1/20 again with multiple delays caused by the unavailability of equipment to L&A test. On 10/27/20, there were still 143 BMDs and 100 ICPs that still required acceptance testing prior to L&A, as well as 100 carts still to assemble, with many missing parts inhibiting the assembly. Additionally, the testers were delayed by the lag incurred in the delivery of re-purposed training ICX units and Early Voting units that were needed for Election Day. The testing staff worked substantial overtime hours all week through Monday evening, 11/1/20 to complete the L&A testing in time for the election.”
What’s significant is the Dominion staff who were testing the machines had to wait for the “Early Voting units” to be delivered to the Georgia World Congress Center for testing. Upon completion, the units were redistributed to the locations from which they came. This is important because the email independently confirms what’s represented on the L&A log. The email also removes the potential excuse that the testing could have been for “additional units” needed for election day. If that were the case, then the Dominion testers would not have been waiting to test “early voting units.”
It’s clear that the Fulton County voting machines and systems were not L&A tested until after early voting. This means there was no check or verification on how the machines were programmed. It’s important to understand that the majority of all votes for the 2020 general election were cast on the untested machines during early voting (314,985 out of 523,000), making this a very serious problem. There’s also another issue:
The L&A testing should only be performed by county election officials. It is equally important and unacceptable that Dominion was contracted to perform L&A testing of their own equipment. The mandated testing process was not designed to rely upon third-party vendors’ self-verification. Some may believe that it’s not a big deal and that Dominion is a professional company that wouldn’t be dishonest about L&A testing. They already have.
The following is a screenshot captured at the time of this writing from Dominion’s Georgia fact-checking page:
Dominion acknowledges the Georgia mandate and clearly states:
“Testing was done publicly and conducted by bipartisan inspectors.”
The assertion is not a misunderstanding, technically incorrect, or just embellished, but an intentional, unmitigated false statement (Lie).
- The scheduled L&A testing was canceled state-wide in September due to a Dominion software problem, which some may characterize as a “glitch” (See Oct. 8th meeting minutes above).
- The new software was distributed to elections officials on September 30th with instructions to install it before the EAC subsequently approved it on October 8th (Unauthorized software update by EAC definition).
- L&A testing was not performed publicly and couldn’t have been because the Georgia mandate requires the county to provide public notice at least 5 days before the testing. Early voting started in many counties on October 12th, and the EAC didn’t approve the software until October 8th.
- Dominion was obviously intimately involved in their own emergency software revision, subsequent roll-out and, therefore, solely responsible for the delayed and deficient L&A testing. Failing to disclose this fact is deceit by omission. Claiming the L&A testing was performed as required is a blatantly false statement.
- In Fulton County, Dominion installed the new software and performed the L&A testing themselves on over 3,000 voting machines, in private and without “bipartisan election inspectors” or county officials present. Moreover, as we previously reported, Dominion charged Fulton County in excess of $1,000,000 for their staff to do the L&A testing. This bears repeating: Dominion did the testing in private, charged $1,000,000 to do the testing, and then falsely claimed officials did the testing in public. Not only is Dominion’s assertion false and fabricated, but an intentional effort to conceal their involvement in the testing. Some would interpret such acts as consciousness of guilt.
To summarize, in this report, we have shown that the voting machines did not have the requisite testing before early voting as required by Georgia law. We also showed that when the testing was finally performed, it was not by election or county officials but by the hands of the voting machine company and a known partisan operative. Then we produced Dominion’s own emails contradicting their own fact-check in their own words. Finally, our reporting also presented Dominion’s invoices which unequivocally refutes their false fact-check claims. Suffice to say, we literally “brought the receipts” …and the emails.
More to come soon.
*Full email correspondence from a Dominion executive to Rick Barron explains the work previously performed and justification for the amount billed.