Georgia county ditches new voting machines for paper ballots

Georgia News

FILE-In this Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 file photoCourtney Parker votes on a new voting machine, in Dallas, Ga. Election integrity activists are raising concerns about Georgia’s new voting machines, saying the large, bright, vertical touchscreens allow other people in the room to see a voter’s selections in violation of ballot secrecy provisions in state law. In a petition filed Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Sumter County Superior Court against the five members of the county election board, the activists ask the court to order the board to have voters use hand-marked paper ballots rather than the touchscreen voting machines. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Election officials in a Georgia county have voted to switch from the state’s new voting machines to hand-marked paper ballots amid concerns about ballot secrecy.

Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections Chair Jesse Evans confirmed that the board voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve the switch for the presidential primary election.

Evans wrote that the board found it “impracticable to use the new electronic voting system to meet the state and federal legal requirements” that it “protect absolute ballot secrecy while allowing sufficient monitoring of the ballot marking devices in use.”

The primary is the first time Georgia’s new voting machines and election management system are being used statewide.

Early voting began Monday for the March 24 contest.

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