'The next generation of voting': Catoosa County unveils new voting machine system

On Monday night, Georgia election officials in Catoosa County have unveiled their new voting machine system, and say it's not just updated tech - it's "the next generation of voting." (Image: WTVC)

On Monday night, Georgia election officials in Catoosa County have unveiled their new voting machine system, and say it's not just updated tech - it's "the next generation of voting."

This comes after a lawsuit argued the paperless, touchscreen machines the state has been using since 2002 were not reliable.

These new voting machines are bring more just updated technology. They leave a paper trail.

Georgia State Elections Director Chris Harvey says this means voters can feel more confident when they cast their ballot.

"I think it's better," says Harvey. "I think it's more secure. I think the voters are going to be more confident. They're going to be able to hold their ballot in their hand. They're going to be able to read it to themselves and they're going to be putting into the scanner when it goes with that scanner they know they voted."

It works like this:

Voters insert a card into the new machine. It then loads their specific ballot onto the screen.

After the machine tallies votes electronically, it prints out a copy of your selections. This gives voters the opportunity to hold a hard copy of their ballot in their hands.

Finally, voters submit that piece of paper into a machine.

"Definitely seems a lot more secure," says voter Paul Encardes. "I remember from the last time I voted, I pulled the card out and I handed it back to them, and it's like I couldn't see anything that's on that card."

Malfunctioning voting machines, missing power cords and hours-long lines at the polls were scrutinized by candidates and election officials in Georgia's 2018 election.

"That is the whole reason this was created," says Catoosa County Election Director Tonja Moore, "People actually get to view their choices, and see this is who you're voting for. Because as you know, the complaints were 'Our votes were flipping' or 'How do I know for sure that's who I voted for?'"

Catoosa County is one of six out of Georgia's 159 counties chosen to pilot the new machines.

Voters here will use them in the upcoming election this November 5th.

The new voting machines cost $106 million.

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