New Voting Machines

Catoosa County was chosen as one of six from 159 Georgia counties to test-run the state’s new two-step voting system.

Catoosa County will be one of six counties out of the 159 in the state to test-drive new voting machines in November. The rest of the state will have to wait until 2020.

But local residents don’t even have to wait until November to see a demonstration of the new system. The Catoosa County Board of Elections is holding an open house for the press and the public on Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. at their offices.

The new system, says Catoosa elections director Tonya Moore, is a two-step process that might be a little confusing for people at first.

“Voters will get a card to insert in the voting machine, like they always have,” says Moore. “They’ll still make their selections on a touch screen. After they make their selections, they’ll get a paper printout of their ballot that they can look at and check for accuracy.”

From there, says Moore, voters will move to a large scanner and insert their paper ballot. The scanner will suck their ballot in, read it and keep it.

Moore says her office is planning to hire extra poll workers to make sure people don’t walk out with their ballots instead of actually casting them.

The other five counties chosen to participate in the test run are Carroll, Bartow, Paulding, Decatur and Lowndes.

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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