Conyers tests new voting machines that include paper ballot

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. - The state of Georgia will be testing a potential new voting machine system during the city of Conyers’ municipal elections starting Monday morning.

Georgia Elections Director Chris Harvey said they’re looking at replacing the state’s older touchscreen voting machines, and they’re looking at different systems.

“Our voting system is secure,” Harvey said. “We believe it works. It’s worked well for 15 years. However, we’re looking at the future, and the system is going to have to be replaced.”

The Secretary of State’s Office selected Conyers and the Rockdale County Board of Elections to run the test of the ExpressVote machine.


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Rockdale’s elections supervisor Cynthia Welch demonstrated how the system works.

Voters receive a paper ballot that they feed into the electronic ballot-marking machine.Then, they select the candidates they want to vote for.

The marking machine doesn’t count the vote, it merely prints their selections onto the paper ballot. Once the selections have been made, the machine returns the paper ballot to the voter for approval.

If they want to make changes, they alert a poll worker who can spoil that ballot and give them a new one. If the paper ballot meets their approval, voters feed it into the tabulator which officially records the vote electronically, then records an optical scan of the ballot and stores the actual paper ballot in a secure box.

Welch thinks voters will like the fact they get a paper ballot to check their vote. She also believes the system is more secure than the current one.

“I like this system better, I do,” she said. “Much easier. Much, much easier.”

Early voting in Conyers begins Monday morning. Election day is Nov. 7th.

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