January 31, 2023

Polling booths (AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)

On Thursday, a conservative action group concerned with election integrity and voter information Focus on America announced in a press release that they have added the record her case against the use of voting machines in the Alabama elections.

Focus on America said in the press release that they have forwarded new evidence to the Alabama Supreme Court and the Montgomery Trial Court. The new evidence comes from a statement by the accused foreign minister John Merrill in a Tennessee Valley Republican meeting that the plaintiffs’ allegation contradicts previous statements by defendants and defense witnesses in the case. Plaintiffs allege that this new evidence shows that Alabama’s election voting system is open to the Internet in over sixty locations.

Secretary of State Merrill denied Focus on America’s claim in a telephone interview Alabama today.

Rebekah Rogerswith Focus on America, is a plaintiff in Hanes vs. Merrill that plaintiffs are currently appealing to the Alabama Supreme Court. Rogers stated she asked Sec. Merrill specifically on the so-called “hardened” laptops that are provided to each probate judge. Rogers referred Merrill to one AL.com article that quotes both Merrill and the co-defendant Invoice EnglishLee County Probate Judge and Chair of the Alabama Electronic Voting Committee.

“The hacker, if he breaks into our second computer and changes it, we still have the original data from the precinct on computer A,” English said. “The security is that no one can access Computer A from the Internet.”

Rogers claimed that her question was referring to the State Department’s own order for these so-called “hardened” laptops, which proved, among other things, that the laptops were not hardened but, on the contrary, were ordered with WiFi and Bluetooth.

“Everything in this case has already been decided‘ Merrill told Alabama Today. “This case is closed.”

Merrill said the information on these laptops “is for election night coverage only so the media can have numbers to report on.” These are unofficial results.”

“While Merrill and the probate judges may understand that this computer will be used for one purpose only, hackers don’t really care, and being connected to the Internet leaves widespread vulnerabilities in our election security and voter rights,” Rogers said. “John Merrill misrepresented the truth in the Alabama Supreme Court with our electronic voting machine lawsuit.”

Merrill denied having misrepresented anything in court.

“These people have been given so much information that they can’t understand it,” Merrill said. “You have no credibility.”

“In May of this year, John Merrill said the ‘hardened’ stand-alone computers used in the election ‘cannot be connected to the Internet’.” Melissa Isaacsaid the plaintiff’s attorney. “This was found to be incorrect in court as WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity were specifically required in Merrill’s own orders.”

Another attorney for the plaintiffs, Philip Jauregui, stated: “This admission is outrageous. For months, the defendants have testified that the election laptops are not Internet-enabled. But now, when exposed by their own order, they have to admit that the opposite is true. The legal problem is that they did so only after the record and appeal were sent to the Alabama Supreme Court. We hope and pray that the Alabama Supreme Court will accept this new evidence and rule for the plaintiffs in our main case. Our stuttering, uncertified and insecure systems need to be fixed.”

Alabama Today asked Merrill about the status of the case.

“Hugh is dead,” Merrill replied, referring to the recent death of the Secretary of State’s General Counsel. “Normally I would just ask him.”

The General Counsel for the Alabama State Department Hugh Evans III died November 17. Evans was undefeated in numerous different court challenges to voting rights while working with Merrill.

Merrill reiterated his view that Alabama’s election results cannot be hacked and that this case is groundless.

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