A few glitches did not stop Bartow’s elections office from conducting elections for four cities without delays using the state’s new voting machines.
Elections Director Joseph Kirk said the Dominion Voting System’s Poll Pad used to access voters’ information at check-in and create voter access cards malfunctioned at a few precincts Tuesday, Nov. 5.
However, backup Poll Pads were used and kept voting running smoothly, Kirk said.
“We always had at least one up and running and no one was delayed as a result,” he said.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s office was testing the machines in Bartow and five other counties before using them statewide in Georgia’s Presidential Preference Primary in March 2020.
The machines allow voters to make their choices on a touch screen tablet, review them on the screen, print a paper copy listing their choices and a QR code for a final review, and place the paper ballot into an optical scanner to cast their votes.
The paper ballots are used for verifying and auditing results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
Kirk said he liked the system “overall” despite the equipment problems Nov. 5.
“I think we’re going to have successful elections with it,” Kirk said. “We have some work to do before next year but nothing we can’t handle.”
In the elections that Kirk’s office conducted, voters gave the mayor and two council members new terms in the city of White; and brought new councilmen to the Emerson and Euharlee city councils.
They also overwhelmingly gave Cartersville’s mayor a new two-year term and voted to allow earlier Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages in Cartersville and Emerson.
The unofficial results showed:
♦ Incumbent Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini received 80% of the votes cast to easily turn back challenges from Nicole Pavey Butler and Barbara Jackson for re-election.
♦ Incumbent Kim Dupree Billue defeated former city police chief David King by 16 votes for the mayor’s seat in White in unofficial returns.
♦ Incumbent White City Council members Charles Buttrum and Ryan Evans won the two city council seats up for election this year. Norman Gary Crisp also sought one of the seats.
♦ In Emerson, residents voted more than two to one to allow the city’s restaurants to serve alcohol at 11 a.m. rather than 12:30 p.m. on Sundays as part of the Georgia “Brunch Bill.”
Former councilman Charles Lowry and incumbent Councilman Vincent Wiley were unopposed for two Emerson City Council council seats up for election.
Lowry returns to the council after serving one term from 2011 to 2015. He will replace Gerald Earwood, who did not seek re-election.
♦ Euharlee voters elected Tim Abbott to their city council. Abbott and incumbent Councilman David Duncan defeated Michael Troxell for two city council seats up for election this year.
Abbott will replace Craig Guyton, who did not seek re-election.
Turnout was 30% in White, 13% in Emerson, 11% in Cartersville and 7% in Euharlee, according to Bartow County Elections records.
The county election board is set to certify the elections Friday, Nov. 15, Kirk said.