Ballot-marking device

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

At the state’s election warehouse northwest of Atlanta Friday morning, a buzzing hive of workers loaded trucks with boxes of voting equipment, some of the final shipments to Georgia counties ahead of the March presidential primary.

Since December, the secretary of state’s office has delivered more than 200,000 pieces of equipment to the state’s 159 counties, ranging from touchscreen ballot-marking devices to printers used to create paper ballots to the scanners that will tabulate the voter’s choices.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

As election workers across the state begin final preparations for the new ballot-marking device system being used for the March 24 presidential primary election, Fulton County officials say early voting will be a key factor in preventing long lines.

Fulton County Elections Director Rick Barron said Wednesday the county will receive the final shipments of its ballot-marking devices by the end of this week and begin logic and accuracy testing on Monday.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

The Georgia secretary of state’s office is launching an expanded partnership with The King Center to bring demonstrations of the state’s new $104 million voting system to more than 100 congregations across the state this year.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

The Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections has begun testing components of Georgia’s new $104 million ballot-marking device voting system that will be used in less than a month for the presidential primary election.

Logic and accuracy testing began Tuesday morning for the system that includes BMDs, printers, polling place scanners and a central scanner that will process absentee ballots cast prior to Election Day.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Elections officials in three southwest Georgia counties reported no issues with the state’s new touchscreen ballot-marking device system during early voting, but poll watchers and staff noted issues with several parts of the process on Election Day.

The $104 million BMD system includes a poll pad that checks voters in, a touchscreen computer to make selections, a printer that creates a paper ballot with a text summary of choices plus a QR code and a scanner that tabulates votes and stores the paper.

Georgia Secretary of State's Office

Elections officials participating in a state House special election in southwest Georgia say there have been no problems during the early voting period with the new ballot-marking device election system that prints out a paper ballot.

Tuesday is Election Day for voters in House District 171, which covers part of Colquitt, Decatur and Mitchell counties, and early voting is underway for Senate District 13, covering eight counties.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

A bill intended to codify the secretary of state’s authority to set qualifying dates for special elections has turned into a proxy battle over Gov. Brian Kemp’s choice for U.S. Senate.

A substitute to HB 757 passed the elections subcommittee of the governmental affairs committee Monday afternoon on an 8-2 vote.

The original language of the bill, authored by House Judiciary Chairman Barry Fleming (R-Harlem), codified a longstanding policy that gave the state’s top election official the latitude to schedule the two-and-a-half day period that candidates for a special election must qualify to appear on the ballot.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Standing at the edge of a DeKalb County loading dock, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger joined several reporters and elections staff as a nondescript white truck slowly backed up to unload its cargo.

The truck was loaded with battery backups that will help power 2,839 ballot-marking devices used by DeKalb voters in future elections. It was the first of many shipments arriving that day.

While the holiday season has made coordinating deliveries to local officials tricky, Raffensperger said that more than 25,000 of the 33,100 BMDs are tested and in the state’s control and 32 of Georgia’s 159 counties have received nearly all of their new voting machines and accessories.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Nearly half of Georgia’s 159 counties are getting more voting machines than allotted in the original request for proposals, according to the latest numbers from the secretary of state’s office.

Georgia has purchased 33,100 Dominion ballot-marking devices as part of the largest single implementation of a new voting system in U.S. history, with 31,826 of them slated to be delivered to counties ahead of the March 24 presidential preference primary.

Special to GPB News

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has opened an investigation into allegations that three vocal critics of Georgia’s new ballot-marking device voting machines potentially violated election law while observing voting at a Paulding County polling place this past Election Day.  

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

State elections officials say issues that arose during last Tuesday’s pilot of the new ballot-marking device voting system can be easily fixed before the first statewide election in March.

The secretary of state’s office also says the delivery of the new voting system should be complete by the end of January, about two months before the March 24 presidential preference primary election.

David Goldman / AP Photo

The Secretary of State's Office has released its Request for Proposals (RFP) to upgrade Georgia's 27,000 touchscreen direct-recording electronic voting machines. 

Gov. Brian Kemp still has to sign HB 316, which would make Georgia the only state in the country to conduct elections solely on touchscreen ballot-marking devices.