BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The state of Georgia will utilize new voting machines by the next presidential preference election, thus doing away completely with the old machines according to the Fannin County Board of Elections.
These new machines will create an instant paper trail with each vote cast according to Vice Chairman Mary Ann Conner, whereas the current machines create paper receipts of all votes cast only at the end of each election day.
Instead of a plastic yellow card, voters will receive a paper ballot that they will take to the new touch screen machine. Instead of hitting “Cast Ballot”, voters will select “Print Ballot”, at which time each voter may clearly view the candidates and measures voted upon during the touch screen process on a physical piece of paper.
If the printed ballot displays discrepancies, the voter may be re-issued a ballot, whereas before once “Cast Ballot” was selected, there was no turning back.
If the printer ballot displays correctly, then the voter will take the ballot to a scanner to have the ballot recorded before having it placed into a locked box.
Voters will not be allowed to carry their paper ballot out of the precinct, and according to Conner, Fannin will be allowing voters to practice with the machines prior to the election once they are obtained by the county.
All printed ballots will be kept in the Clerk’s office for a minimum of two years under law.
The voting machines have always been placed at the 12 voting precincts the night before each election (as they are in Gilmer County) and have been chained together with a lock.
However, for the sake of security, Conner states there has been talk of having someone stay over night with the three machines that aren’t currently secured in locked rooms as is the case with counties such as Gilmer.
For Fannin County in particular, there were 369 new applicants for voting (there were none last month due to a hold from the Tuesday, March 19, 2019 election). There were 19,482 registered voters total as of Tuesday, April 30, 2019. There have been 105 deletions; 79 moved out of county, three moved out of state, and 23 were marked deceased.
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