The next generation of voting machines in Georgia is coming soon.
Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill to update the devices we use now for more security.
With the new machines, you vote electronically. It then prints out a paper ballot, which will only be submitted into the system once you put it through a scantron.
State Representative Barry Fleming says this is the best way to avoid voter fraud.
“Everybody that goes to vote will be affected by our having new better and more secure at elections to these new voting machines,” says Fleming.
The law requiring new voting machines in Georgia is one that voters will physically be able to get their hands on.
Columbia County Elections Director, Nancy Gay, says “oh, change is always good.”
She says updated machines will make the voting process easier.
“I think that the election results will tally probably faster, so I think the opening and closing will be simpler for the poll workers, which will be huge, and then the actual whole process will be the same for the voter,” says Gay.
When the legislation was signed, some voters didn’t like the idea. They believe adding another machine to the process creates more opportunities for election fraud.
“A pencil and paper were some of the reasons why we moved away from scantrons to start with. With the printed ballot there are much less probelms, much less problems trying to tell voter intent,” says Fleming.
He this is more secure, but Nancy Gay says these old computers just outlived their shelf life. Security wasn’t the issue.
“I had no problem with the old equipment. I thought, or I still feel that it’s very safe, so I don’t have any concerns with security on that,” says Gay.
The new equipment will come at a hefty cost.
“It’s going to be a large expenditure for the state. It was $150 million dollars that was allotted to accomplice not only the purchase of the machines, but just as importantly the training of all the county personnel in the 159 counties who actually run the elections,” says Fleming.
The Secretary of State is looking at several different machines. Some of them use bar codes while others do not.
Each ballot will go through an audit system. The plan calls for the new machines to be ready to use by the 2020 election.