Election

Paulding County Voters Get First Look At New Voting Machines

Paulding County is one of six counties in Georgia taking part in pilot testing of the state's new voting machines this November.
Paulding County is one of six counties in Georgia taking part in pilot testing of the state's new voting machines this November.
Credit Emil Moffatt / WABE
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Early voting started a week ago in Paulding County, one of the places where Georgia’s new voting machines are already in place.

It is one of six pilot counties using the new voting machines this fall.

Elections supervisor Deidre Holden said voters and her elections staff have quickly gotten used to the new technology.

“We’ve used it, we liked it, we’ve got everything tested, and what we’re seeing is very positive,” said Holden, who says her staff received extensive training earlier this year.

In addition to the Nov. 5 municipal election, Paulding is hosting a series of voting machine demonstrations through the end of the calendar year.

“We felt like our voters would be able to have, you know, ‘hands-on’ with this before we go into those big elections next year,” Holden said.

Georgia spent more than $100 million to upgrade its voting system after concerns were raised about security and the lack of a paper backup. Voters make their selections on a touch screen, which then prints out a paper copy of the ballot. That 8 1/2-by-11-inch sheet of paper features the voters’ selections and a QR code that is read by a scanner.

The ballots then fall into a locked container, providing a paper trail.

Holden said Paulding County will conduct an audit after this November’s election, even though the law doesn’t require one.

She said a representative from Dominion, the company that supplies the new voting machines, has been working closely with the county throughout the implementation process.

The state says the voting machines will be in place statewide for the 2020 March primaries.

 

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