Federal Judge Sides with Libertarian Candidate, Smythe DuVal: “Confirm All Provisional Ballots”

The Libertarian Party of Georgia’s candidate for Secretary of State, Smythe DuVal, has been vindicated in his suit against state election officials, as a federal judge required counties to accept hundreds of provisional ballots with minor errors. Such ballots containing otherwise-valid voter information but where a voter might have substituted the election date for the birth date, or 2018 for the birth year, had been at risk of being discarded, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Politics blog reported Tuesday.

“Georgia’s dangerously outdated and vulnerable voting machines, paired with insidious attempts to disenfranchise minority voters, put the legitimacy of election results in question,” DuVal said Tuesday. “I participated in this suit against then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp for the same reason I ran for his seat: because he’d shown himself either unable or unwilling to fix the problems voluntarily. I’m pleased that a coalition of independents succeeded in holding officials accountable, because voters largely have been prevented from doing so.”

DuVal garnered 86,499 votes on November 6 – 2.23% of votes cast in that race – triggering a runoff election between his opponents. Of the December runoff, DuVal said, “Voters should carefully review each candidate’s public statements, and consider what elections might look like under his watch. We must take concrete steps before 2020 to avoid a repeat of all these frustrations.”

National attention has spotlighted many of Georgia’s sloppy election practices. These vulnerabilities to fraud and abuse were the centerpiece of Smythe DuVal’s 2018 campaign for Secretary of State as The Election Reform Candidate. Policies he has proposed could have prevented Georgia’s current difficulties and the accompanying embarrassment include:

  • Avoid expensive runoffs with ranked choice voting that captures voter preferences
  • Provide for same-day registration so to significantly reduce provisional ballots and protect voters from abusive purges from county rolls
  • Replace Georgia’s voting machines with hand-marked paper ballots and optical scan machinery at a far lower cost than the solution put forth by the GOP contender.
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