Fox News, others seek access to report on voting machines

Atlanta – In defending itself against a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, Fox News is seeking access to an expert report filed under seal in a separate Georgia lawsuit that the author says details vulnerabilities in the company’s touchscreen voting machines.

Election security expert J. Alex Halderman spent 12 weeks examining the voting machines used in Georgia and more than a dozen other states and said he identified “multiple severe security flaws” in the machines that would allow attackers to install malicious software. His report was filed in federal court in Atlanta in July in support of a long-running lawsuit filed by election security advocates and voters who want Georgia to scrap the electronic voting machines in favor of hand-marked paper ballots.

Dominion in March filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News in Delaware, where both companies are incorporated, arguing the cable news giant falsely claimed that the voting company had rigged the 2020 election. A judge last month rejected Fox’s motion to dismiss the suit. The lawsuit cites Halderman, saying he “told Fox explicitly, ‘There is absolutely no evidence, none, that Dominion Voting Machines changed any votes in this election.’”

A voting technology specialist and director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security and Society, Halderman is an expert witness in the Georgia case and his report was filed under seal and designated “attorneys’ eyes only,” making it off limits even to the actual parties to the Georgia lawsuit. Only their lawyers and experts could see it.

In this Sept. 16, 2019, file photo, a Dominion Voting Systems voting machine is seen in Atlanta.

Now, Fox News is asking to see Halderman’s report, writing in a motion filed in federal court in Atlanta Wednesday that, among other things, it wants to “determine the extent to which it contradicts his purported statement” to Fox News. The motion asks U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg to allow six lawyers and consulting experts for Fox to have access to the report and says they would abide by the confidentiality requirements in the court’s protective order.

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