Georgia voter registration system upgraded for smoother elections

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Election officials celebrate launch of GARViS registration system

Georgia’s new, faster voter registration system is now running across the state, an upgrade that election officials said Thursday will ensure security and shorter wait times at polling places.

Surrounded by dozens of county election directors at the Georgia Capitol, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the registration system successfully launched last month, replacing the state’s 10-year-old technology that at times broke down under the heavy load of high turnout.

“When people ask us, ‘How do we know who voted? How do we know it’s real? How do we know it’s fair?’ Because we have the receipts we keep on this secure system. That’s how we know,” said Gabriel Sterling, Raffensperger’s chief operating officer. “Don’t let anybody believe there are dead voters voting or there’s double voting in any significant way, because it’s just not true.”



The registration system, nicknamed GARViS for the Georgia Registered Voter Information System, stores registration records for Georgia’s 7.9 million voters, verifies voters’ information when they check in and processes absentee ballot information.

At a cost of about $4 million, GARViS replaces ElectioNet, which failed during the first days of early voting in October 2020, leading to voting lines that lasted for hours. The problem was corrected, and eNet didn’t experience similar slowdowns during last year’s elections.

Both voters and election workers will experience improvements under the new system, said Christina Redden, assistant elections director in Glynn County.

New voter registrations and address changes will be updated almost instantly after information is verified, and voters will be able to quickly see that their ballot has been counted on the state’s My Voter Page. In addition, a faster connection to the system will keep early voting lines moving, she said.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Redden said. “It’s just automatic. It happens within minutes.”

Voter registration information will be stored on remote servers that comply with federal government security requirements for cloud data.

GARViS took 15 months to implement since Raffensperger announced it in January 2022. The system is hosted by Salesforce, a large software company. MTX Group Inc., a technology consulting firm, developed the user interface for election officials. Transform, a tech consulting company, handled logistics and project oversight.