Georgia will replace its 17-year-old electronic voting machines next year with a system that produces a printed-out paper ballot.
“As Georgia moves toward our new auditable paper-based system, it is important that we learn from other successful states,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffenspeger. “We’re looking forward to instituting industry best practices in order to give Georgians the most accurate voting experience to ensure voter confidence.”
With Georgia's new $107 million system, voters will pick their candidates on touchscreens that are connected to printers that create paper ballots. Voters will then be able to review their ballots before inserting them into scanners for tabulation.
Critics of the system say audits of computer-generated paper ballots will be meaningless because many voters won't check their ballots for accuracy. In a close election, it wouldn't take many incorrect and unverified ballots to alter the outcome.
Georgia’s voting system encodes votes in bar codes for electronic tabulation, but audits will review the printed text before election results are certified.
Rules for audits, which will be conducted before election results are finalized, will be drafted over the next few months before being published for public comment. The State Election Board will then vote on the rules.