Bill could replace Georgia’s aging voting machines

GA Voting Machines Bill

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - After speculation of some votes not being counted in last year’s Gubernatorial race, Georgia state legislators introduced a bill that would replace outdated voting machines.

Law makers are going for a more secure and accessible experience for voters at the polls.

They’ll do this with updated electronic machines. South Georgia elections board members said they are excited about this possibility.

Ballot boxes across the state could see some changes, thanks to a bill law makers introduced to replace Georgia's aging voting machines.

“Overall I think that would be better and it would be easier on us I’m beginning to think,” said Hugh Donnan, the chairman of the board of elections in Worth County.

He said in his 15 precincts, there are two to six machines that could use an upgrade.

“The machines that we are using are getting old and becoming obsolete,” said Donnan.

Which raises concerns for voters.

Ginger Nickerson said its a problem they’ve seen in Albany before.

“You always want them to be secure because that was one of the concerns in the past. So anytime you have voters in doubt about our system we definitely want to give them a system they are secure with and comfortable with,” said Nickerson.

Hugh Donnan. (Source: WALB)
Hugh Donnan. (Source: WALB)

Law makers are also pushing for the machines to be easier to operate with new technology and provide some assurance.

“A lot of the voters are still concerned about their votes being counted. This way they’ve got a paper ballot that they can look at and know that its been scanned and counted,” said Donnan.

Nickerson said she hopes the new machines would remove the stigma and increase voter participation.

“We want them to utilize this process. We don’t want to discourage anyone and so I think it’s important that we address those concerns to meet our voters need,” she said.

These new machines should blunt some of the criticisms about Georgia's 2018 election.

Ginger Nickerson. (Source: WALB)
Ginger Nickerson. (Source: WALB)

Election supervisors said they hope they can have the new machines during municipal elections, to have enough practice for a bigger election season like 2020.

With this new bill proposed, there are a few elections coming up in our area in both Worth and Dougherty County

In Worth County elections for the end of term for county sheriff, and the tax referendum for transportation special purpose local option sales tax.

In Dougherty County a special election for T-SPLOST will be on the ballot, as well as an election for mayor will be help for individuals in Albany city limits.

Commissioners in wards 1, 4 and 6 are up for election as well.

“We encourage all citizens to come out and vote. We will begin early voting in our office Monday February 25, so definitely if those individuals are ready to vote yes or no we encourage them to come into the office and cast that ballot,” said Nickerson.

In Worth County early voting for the sheriff’s election will also begin Monday.

There will be a candidate’s forum that night.

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