Georgia Voting Costs

By Kate Gaier
5:00 September 28, 2006

Electronic voting machines in Thomas County do not have the capabilities to print an audit, allowing voters to double check their ballots.

Vickie Burnette, the Superintendent of Elections, said, "When we had shoot machines, you didn't walk out with a piece of paper. When we had paper ballots, you didn't walk out with a piece of paper."

While some residents support the idea of paper proof, others wonder what the point is.

Willie Thomas, a Thomasville resident, said, "I don't think I really need one because I know who I'm going to vote for from the very beginning."

If Thomas County is forced to provide a paper trail, new machines must first be purchased.

"We have not heard whether the state will pay for that or the county will have to fund those machines," added Burnette

Voting officials say it could cost thousands of dollars to replace the current machines, but some residents say there's no price too high.

Earl Williams Jr., a Thomasville resident, said, "What's the price of a life? People are giving their life in Iraq for the right to vote and the vote to be counted."

Thurman Jacobs, another Thomasville resident, added, "I think we need to put more money into voting machines."

Voting officials say the machines used now display a summary page that allows voters to double check their ballot before it is cast.

They also said that three counties in Georgia will participate in a pilot program in the November elections. Those results will be presented at the General Assembly in January.