After 18 years of the same voting machines, Georgia has finally rolled out new ones. The state was pressured to replace its outdated systems citing security and accuracy concerns. The new voting system uses a touchscreen to pick candidates, prints out a ballot with the voter’s choices, and is then scanned by another machine for final casting.
The new system is the result of a $104 million contract awarded to Dominion Voting Systems last year replacing Elections Systems & Software as the state’s election vendor. With the upcoming election in November, states across the country have been updating their systems. Some states, like Georgia, are replacing their entire systems, whereas other states are fixing faulty ones.
Yesterday’s primary election was the first time the system was used at full capacity. The compounding effects of new machines, undertrained staff, missing equipment, and a pandemic caused an election nightmare. Long wait times in the metro Atlanta area were common with people waiting to vote for as long as 5 hours.
So, what can the state do to ensure this doesn’t happen again in November? Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger blamed local officials for undertraining their staff, and local officials blamed Raffensperger for a lack of training resources. Be on the lookout for training contracts amongst others at GovDirections.com where you can find the latest available local, state, and federal government procurement contracts.
About the Author
Grant Sarver is from Suwanee, Georgia. He is currently an undergraduate pursuing Bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs and Sociology at the University of Georgia with an expected graduation in December 2020. He is most interested in human rights and social equality and plans to work for an entity that helps fulfill people’s human rights.