With the new 2020 presidential election approaching, Georgia has decided to make new changes to their voting machines. Unlike usual voting machines that have been used in the past by Electronics Systems & Software, Georgia is now in the process of implementing new voting machines and a new system for the 2020 presidential election. After being awarded 30,000 new machines under a $107 million contract by Dominions voting system, the new machines are gearing towards providing a more secure voting experience and assure voters that their vote is accurate and accounted for.
One of the biggest changes with the new voting machines is the combination of touchscreen and paper ballots. In the past, voters would electronically cast their votes. They select the “cast ballot” option and rely on the machine to correctly submit their vote. With the new system, it will now say “print ballot.” The machine will then print out a paper ballot as a receipt, and scan into the tabulation machine. This will show that the person’s vote has been submitted and that their candidate selections are correct. It will also allow tellers to have an accurate count on the presidential candidates. The paper ballots will then be locked away in a ballot box for future use like audits or recounts.
Antwan Lang, a member of the Chatham County Board of Elections, said, “The machines will not be implemented until March 2019. Until the primary presidential election, we will continue to use the DRE voting machines for the General Election runoff. Once we have confirmation that the machines are ready, is when they will go into operation.” The machines are currently being tested to insure accuracy. In the past, there have been many issues regarding the old voting machines. Many voters reported that there were glitches during the voting process causing them to select a candidate they did not desire. This is a major issue for many reasons, one being that candidates are being wrongfully voted into office. Another major issue voters encounter is no written confirmation of how their vote was successfully submitted. With the new machines being implemented, this is a hurdle that can be overcome.
The new voting machines will have their first trial run in November 2019 during local elections in six counties that are not currently specified. Once they have been cleared and ready for use, they will be provided statewide during the presidential primary election in March. Dominion is looking forward to having a safe and secure 2020 presidential election.