HARRISBURG, Pa. — Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of State Veronica W. Degraffenreid announced that she has decertified Fulton County's voting system for future elections because it was the subject of a post-election review by a third party in violation of the state's Election Code.
Degraffenreid said she informed the Fulton County Board of Elections on Tuesday.
“I have a statutory obligation to examine, evaluate and certify electronic voting systems,” Degraffenreid said in a letter to the county issued Tuesday. “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.”
Earlier this year, Fulton County officials allowed Wake TSI, "a company with no knowledge or expertise in election technology," Degraffenreid said, to access certain key components of its certified system, including the county’s election database, results files, and Windows systems logs.
County officials also allowed the company to use a system imaging tool to take complete hard drive images of these computers and other digital equipment, Degraffenreid said.
“These actions were taken in a manner that was not transparent,” the Secretary said in her letter. “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.”
The third-party access to Fulton County’s voting system undermined the chain of custody requirements and strict access limitations necessary to prevent both intentional and inadvertent tampering with electronic voting systems, Degraffenreid said.
The unauthorized access prevents the vendor from affirming that the system continues to meet state and federal certification standards.