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New Commission To Study Options For Georgia’s Next Voting System

Georgia is the largest of five states that does not use a paper-ballot system voters can check to ensure their choices are tallied accurately.
Georgia is the largest of five states that does not use a paper-ballot system voters can check to ensure their choices are tallied accurately.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press file
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After the state legislature failed to pass a bill that would have moved Georgia toward a paper-ballot voting system by 2020, the Secretary of State’s office announced plans Friday to create a commission tasked with reviewing new voting technology, as well as its potential costs and any necessary legislation for implementation.

The commission will be co-chaired by Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a candidate for governor, and Republican state Rep. Barry Fleming.

“After the success of our pilot project last November using new voting equipment with a voter-verified paper trail,” Kemp said in an emailed statement, “it is time for the state to move forward with phasing out our current voting equipment, which is battle-tested and secure, but nearing replacement age.”

Georgia is the largest of five states that does not use a paper-ballot system voters can check to ensure their choices are tallied accurately.

Cybersecurity experts, national security officials, and some state lawmakers have said that exposes the system to potential hacks and doubt.

The Secretary of State’s office said the commission, including “lawmakers, party leaders, election officials, and voters,” will hold four or five meetings around the state.