To fit so many candidates on one screen, election officials had to divide the race into two columns, said Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs. She said that kind of ballot format isn’t standard, but it was easier for voters, and election officials wanted to ensure all candidates appeared together.
“Logic and accuracy testing discovered an issue where if a user flips back and forth multiple times between the Senate special election and the previous race (which is not typical), the second column would, in rare occasions, not appear,” Fuchs said. “This was discovered as it should have been during L&A testing.”
The issue would have affected candidates sorted alphabetically in the second column such as Lieberman, Loeffler, Tarver and Warnock.
Elections Director Chris Harvey sent a memo to county election officials Friday asking them to stop logic and accuracy testing until the secretary of state’s office provides a new database in the coming days.
“I know that everyone is working as hard as they can to be prepared. We will do everything we can to minimize the delay this will cause,” Harvey wrote.
Georgia is rolling out a new statewide voting system this year that combines touchscreens with paper ballots. In-person voters will make their choices on touchscreens, which then print ballots that will be inserted into optical scanners.
The programming problem doesn’t affect absentee ballots. About 1.3 million Georgia voters had requested absentee ballots through Friday, and nearly 36,000 ballots had been returned so far.