Lindell v. Dominion/Smartmatic: Exhibits Breakdown Part 2

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  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

Mike Lindell v. U.S. Dominion Inc., et al. has 17 exhibits intended to support the allegations of wrongdoing against the defendant.

In Byrne Points to Lindell v. Dominion / Smartmatic MOAB., we wrote that Patrick Byrne had obtained them and directed us to look at Exhibit 12. So we did. In Lindell v. Dominion / Smartmatic Exhibits Breakdown Part 1, we looked at Exhibits 1-4. Here is part 2:

Exhibit 5: Curling v. Raffensperger Opinion

Exhibit 5 is a court opinion from District Judge Amy Totenberg in Donna Curling, et al. v. Brad Raffensperger, et al. signed 10/11/2020 and labeled 493 F.Supp.3d in the United States District Court N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division.

Donna Curling is also Plaintiff in Exhibit 4 of the Lindell lawsuit, and Brad Raffensperger is Secretary of State for Georgia. The suit claims that voters' First and Fourteenth Amendment rights are violated by the voting systems in use in Georgia.

Totenberg starts with a reference and quote from the 1983 movie Groundhog Day before diving into 50+ pages of detailed explanation of decisions regarding relief sought by the plaintiff before the November 3, 2020, General election.

Plaintiffs' are "challeng[ing] the State Defendants’ ... new voting system enacted by the Georgia Legislature on April 2, 2019, and their ongoing use of software, data systems, policies and practices that allegedly burden and impede Plaintiffs’ exercise of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to cast ballot votes that will be reliably counted."

Plaintiffs say the system is unconstitutional due to "demonstrated risk vulnerabilities" by cybersecurity experts and in that direct voter verification is not possible—the Dominion ImageCast machines use QR codes on the ballots that are not human-readable. Plaintiffs say Defendants have "failed to implement a constitutionally acceptable election system" through the use of a system they say is not "voter-verifiable, secure, or reliable."

Defendants claim a ruling in favor of the Plaintiffs "would interfere with the State Defendants’ authority, and responsibility for oversight of election process and procedures, unfettered by burdens and confusion that can be caused by Court ordered changes to state election procedures or requirements on the eve of an election" in reference to Republican National Committee. v Democratic National Committee (2020) and Purcell v. Gonzalez (2006).

Injunctions sought by Plaintiffs would require a "hand-marked paper ballot system" and prohibit a requirement that "in-person voters use ballot marking devices" (BMD). Hand-marked ballots would instead be allowed, with additional audit measures in place. The State Defendants would be required to adopt scanning threshold settings for the Dominion optical scanners as well as additional "vote review procedures" and "meaningful, effective pre-certification audits of scanned hand-marked paper ballots" to ensure accuracy of the count.

District Judge Amy Totenberg

Totenberg's opinion contextualizes by outlining Georgia's relationship with Dominion systems, including the state's chronological history of equipment adoption. Dominion's ImageCast optical scanner, the QR barcode-based BMD voting system it reads, and the ENET system that provides voter data to check-in voters with KnowInk PollPads are referenced. Also addressed within the court's summary of evidentiary proceedings are issues surrounding absentee and provisional ballots in the state.

The opinion goes on to summarize "security risks and deficits in the system" exhibited by the evidence the Plaintiffs presented during the three days of hearings, calling it "significant," "substantive," and "the most complex, expert-intense evidence presented in this case."

Judge Totenberg's conclusion rests on "Established Supreme Court authority" that recognizes State power to regulate their own elections and voting processes, subject to "preservation of citizens’ fundamental First and Fourteenth Amendment rights," balanced with Supreme Court's "principle that district courts must exercise great restraint in considering the grant of injunctive relief that requires major new electoral rules on the cusp of an election where a court's order could cause electoral disruption and potential voter confusion."

The Judge stated:

"The staff of the Secretary of State's Office and county election offices have worked hard to roll out the system in short order during a Covid-19 pandemic era that presents unique hurdles. That hard work though does not answer the fundamental deficits and exposure in the system challenged by Plaintiffs."

"Although Plaintiffs have put on a strong case indicating they may prevail on the merits at some future juncture, the Court must exercise real caution in considering the grant of their request for extraordinary injunctive relief," and that "the Court cannot jump off the legal edge and potentially trigger major disruption in the legally established state primary process" saying election officials don't have the capacity to "turn on a dime and switch to a full-scale hand-marked paper ballot system" due to their "messy electoral record of the past years."

She rules that the injunctive relief sought if granted in full, "cannot but cause voter confusion and some real measure of electoral disruption."

In reference to the relief of immediate replacement of the BMD system with statewide hand-marked paper ballot system, the ruling states:

"Accordingly, based on the binding appellate legal authority, the State's strong legal interest in ensuring an orderly and manageable administration of the current election, and the Court's assessment of the operational realities before it, the Court must deny the Plaintiffs’ Motions for Preliminary Injunctive Relief."

"But the Court cannot part with that message alone," it continues, acknowledging "stealth vote alteration" and "operational interference" that "can be effectively invisible to detection" are "true risks posed by the new BMD voting system" that is "neither hypothetical nor remote."

"The Plaintiffs’ national cybersecurity experts convincingly present evidence that this is not a question of 'might this actually ever happen?'—but 'when it will happen,' especially if further protective measures are not taken," and that "the vital issues identified in this case will not disappear or be appropriately addressed without focused State attention, resources, ongoing serious evaluation by independent cybersecurity experts, and openmindedness.

The Secretary of State and Dominion are obviously not without resources to tackle these issues. And at very least, the Court cannot fathom why, post-election, the State and Dominion would not at least be moving toward consideration of the software upgrade option Dominion originally promised, allowing voters to cast ballots that are solely counted based on their voting designations and not on an unencrypted, humanly unverifiable QR code that can be subject to external manipulation and does not allow proper voter verification and ballot vote auditing."

Thus preliminary injunctions requested are denied in part and granted in part in this ruling. In a continuation of her theatrical theme, Totenberg's final statement reads:

"Time will tell whether Act V here can be still avoided or at least re-written."

Exhibit 6: Certification Review of Dominion Democracy 5.5 by Texas SoS

Exhibit 6 is a January 2020 document titled "Report of Review of Dominion Voting Systems Democracy Suite 5.5-A" from the State of Texas under Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughs. This document states that certification of the voting system was denied and appears to be signed by Deputy Secretary of State Jose A. Esparza.

"The examiner reports identified multiple hardware and software issues that preclude the Office of the Texas Secretary of State from determining that the Democracy Suite 5.5-A system satisfies each of the voting-system requirements set forth in the Texas Election Code. Specifically, the examiner reports raise concerns about whether the Democracy Suite 5.5-A system is suitable for its intended purpose; operates efficiently and accurately; and is safe from fraudulent or unauthorized manipulation. Therefore, the Democracy Suite 5.5-A system and corresponding hardware devices do not meet the standards for certification prescribed by Section 122.001 of the Texas Election Code."

The report outlines that Dominion's 'Democracy Suite' system was presented for examination and certification to five individuals named within, plus an employee of the Texas Attorney General. Pursuant to Sections 122.035 of the Texas Election Code, these persons are appointed by the Texas Secretary of State. They are experts in either electronic data or election law and procedure.

According to this document, installation of the software and firmware occurred and was witnessed on October 2, 2019. The next day, the accessibility components of the ImageCast X Ballot Marking Device were examined, and Dominion provided a system demonstration and answered examiner questions. Test ballots were processed, the results of which were later verified for accuracy by Secretary of State staff. Examiners provided reports to summarize the review, one of which is included in the lawsuit documents as Exhibit 7.

This Secretary of State sponsored evaluation of the Dominion system reviewed a full 5.5 system that included Dominion Democracy Suite components proposed for adoption by the State of Texas. The components evaluated include the Election Management System (EMS), Adjudication (ADJ), ImageCast Central (ICC) central scanner, ImageCast X BMD (ICX) ballot marking device, and ImageCast Precinct (ICP) 5.5.3-0002 precinct scanner.

On December 27 of 2019, A public hearing was held for interested persons to express views for or against Texas State certification of the Dominion Democracy Suite 5.5-A system, which had been denied State certification that June. The system had received certification from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in January of 2019.

Exhibit 7: Examiner's Report Recommends Against Certification of Dominion System

Exhibit 7 is a report by Brandon Hurley, Esq., one of the Texas Secretary of State appointed examiners of the Dominion Democracy Suite from Exhibit 6. He was appointed to examine the voting system proposed for certification by Dominion as an expert in election law and procedure. He recommends against certification.

He clarifies that the system being examined is the 5.5-A, which is a derivation of the 5.5 system that he had previously examined in the same capacity. Hurley states that the examiners found the 5.5 system had "multiple concerns."

He says that Dominion officials made clear that only one change had been made since 5.5, that being "in the wording of the straight-ticket voting language." He says that Dominion:

"Expressed that other issues raised in the examiners' previous reports were a result of potentially damaged equipment, misunderstandings between the examiners and the previous Dominion officials that presented the 5.5 System and things that could not be explained since the Dominion presenters of the 5.5-A System were not present at the 5.5. System examination."

Brandon Hurley, Esq.

He does say that a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) device was removed from the system between iterations. Hurley describes issues raised during the inspection, which led to his ultimate recommendation against certification of the system. One such issue is that some of the hardware includes ethernet ports, which are vulnerable due to providing potential for internet connectivity. He also mentions that:

"The server and other portions of the hardware and software used by the Dominion officials during the exam were not part of the equipment/programs listed in the certification application... This creates a conundrum concerning exactly what is being certified and what is being sold."

His report says Dominion officials dismissed problems with the adjudication portion of the process and problems caused by poor resolution on the scanner. Further, he notes that the system cannot adhere to Texas' Constitutional requirement for sequentially numbered ballots.

As for security, he notes:

"Without question, one or more of the components of the 5.5-A System can be connected to an external communication network, and this can only be avoided if the end-user takes the proper precautions to prevent such a connection."

"Many of the security features of the 5.5-A System are not automatic, but again depend on the end-user following the best practices promoted by Dominion."

Hurley stated, "leaving these security measures to the local jurisdiction" is not in alignment with the standard set by Texas law that "requires safety measures that protect against fraud or unauthorized manipulation."

Future articles will further summarize the rest of the exhibits in Mike Lindell v. Dominion / Smartmatic et. al.

*This article has been updated with exhibit titles.

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