ATLANTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Georgia lawmakers are discussing replacing the voting machines. According to the new Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, current voting machines are 17-years old. House Bill 360 is in sub-committee to hear ideas on new equipment.
Raffensperger says the equipment is so old, the state can’t order replacement parts if machines break. He adds, the system should be replaced.
“We won’t have that issue with these new machines. We’ll be able to make upgrades as we move through the system to keep it fresh and accurate on the software site and have replacement parts,” he said.
The bill proposes updating the voting equipment by replacing current machines with ballot marking devices.
Some of the process will still be the same. The new equipment will be touch screen, and voters will pick a candidate and make adjustments if need be. The change would be after reviewing your selections. A paper will be printed out of your choices, then scanned and used as the ballot so no information will be recorded on the touch screen device.
“It also produces the paper mechanism for an audit system, which we didn’t have when we put the current voting equipment in place,” former Georgia Secretary of State and Dean of Mercer University Law School Cathy Cox said.
Raffensperger says these machines will help when elections are close, and ballots can be counted right.
“We want fair elections. We want to be open. We want them to be transparent and we want at the end of the day the person that ran that race to know they truly won or they truly lost,” he said.
Raffensperger says cyber security is a concern, which is why the new machines would not be connected to the internet.
Lawmakers will vote on the bill in March.