Decatur Co. introduces new Georgia voting system, open house planned Wednesday

Published: Oct. 7, 2019 at 6:54 PM EDT
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By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News

October 7, 2019

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Decatur County Elections Office is one of six counties chosen to pilot Georgia's new voting system.

The office has come a long way in the past year, from sweeping up broken windows after Hurricane Michael, to now welcoming all new voting equipment.

"We want to show the equipment off and welcome a new era of voting in Georgia," said Chief Election Official, Carol Heard.

The equipment replaces the former 17-year-old system, and includes 80 ballot screens, 80 printers and scanners for each precinct.

"We want the voters to say, through that piece of paper, that's how I voted."

The new era of voting introduces a printed ballot with your vote, after finished at the ballot screen.

"Now, you have that piece of paper that is like your receipt, until you get to the scanner."

The paper ballot is then recorded and stored in a new, special scanner that collects all votes at each precinct.

Heard says it's more time efficient and user friendly for poll workers.

"They say wow, that is so easy. Now, they only have one machine that prints out results at the end of the night."

This week, they're welcoming Georgia's Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, and Georgia Elections Director, Chris Harvey, to their open house in Bainbridge.

They hope to introduce their new equipment and educate the community on the new voting process.

"I think most of all it gives the voter confidence that what they're doing is, in fact, what they wanted to do."

Heard is encouraging everyone in the community to stop by the Elections Office Wednesday to attend the open house, which will begin around 5 p.m.