Election 2020

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

When Georgians head to the polls Monday for the first statewide election on Georgia’s new $104 million touchscreen voting system in the postponed presidential and general primary, things will look different.

The coronavirus has sent local officials scrambling to procure protective equipment for staff and considering decreasing the number of machines available to comply with health and safety recommendations.

Thirty counties have relocated or cut back on voting locations since the presidential primary was first postponed in March.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

The Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections is now conducting its presidential primary election on hand-marked paper ballots instead of ballot-marking devices, citing ballot privacy concerns and breaking rank from a state law requiring uniform voting systems.

The five-member board voted 3-2 to make the switch away from electronic voting citing a provision of state law that says an election may be conducted by paper ballot if the use of the machines “is impossible or impracticable.”

The Georgia State Constitution also said, “Elections by the people shall be by secret ballot and shall be conducted in accordance with procedures provided by law.”

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

This week’s early voting for the presidential preference primary is the first statewide implementation of the new $104 million touchscreen voting system with a paper ballot component.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said more than 17,000 voters across Georgia used them on Monday, and called the “Herculean task” of preparing them for early voting a success.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

As early voting kicks off for the March 24 presidential primary this week, county elections officials are anticipating higher-than-average turnout from a record number of registered voters while also rolling out a new type of voting machine. 

It’s the first major election for the $104 million ballot-marking device system, and GPB News asked officials across the state how they are preparing to run successful elections.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Just before lunchtime in the Henry County Board of Elections office, a stream of workers filled into a back room to practice the election process from start to finish.

Check in and receive a ballot access card. Make your selections on a large touchscreen. Print a paper ballot, review the paper ballot, insert it into the scanner – and repeat.

It’s part of a mock election counties are participating in that acts as a stress test of sorts less than a week before Georgians statewide cast their first ballots on the new $104 million ballot-marking device system.

Voter casts ballot in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
John Bazemore / AP

This fall, millions of Georgians will make their choices for president, U.S. House and Senate and their state lawmakers – and millions more will stay home.

A new study from the Knight Foundation sought to answer why, and found that non-voters are less likely to trust the electoral process, less likely to engage with the news and less likely to have strong partisan opinions on political issues. The average non-voter is also more likely to have lower income and education levels than people who do vote. 

Evey Wilson / Mercer Center for Collaborative Journalism

As most Presidential candidates focus on New Hampshire, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's campaign opened offices across Georgia Wednesday.

24-7 PressRelease

Five Democratic presidential candidates, 5,000 black millennials, and church leaders from around the country are in Atlanta this week for the Young Leaders Conference.


They’ll cover everything from diversity in politics to gun violence, mass incarceration and immigration.