New voting machines could change how your vote is cast - CBS46 News

New voting machines could change how your vote is cast

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Georgia is getting voting machines that could change how your vote is cast and counted.

A spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office would not confirm the details for this story, but we learned there's about to be a big development that could signal a shift in election equipment.

Express Vote machines will get a trial run in the Conyers mayoral race this November.

"The pilot program in November addresses some concerns that have been raised about the state's machines," says Dr. William Boone, a political science professor at Clark Atlanta University. 

Rockdale County Elections Director Cynthia Welch told CBS46, "If all goes well, the state will probably ask for legislation where we can test the system statewide."

The new machines come after Georgia's election system has come under increased scrutiny, especially after cyber security researcher Logan Lamb was able to penetrate the system twice, and get access to voter registration information.

"It was very, very easy to download that information," says Lamb.

Lamb favors a system with a fail-safe feature -- paper. And that's what the touchscreen Express Vote system also has.

"Here, you're getting a verifiable trail," says Boone. "So it does address a part of the problem. It is certainly an improvement over what presently exists."

There's another option that became available in Muscogee County after an employee moved to Colorado. That employee noticed that Adams County was getting rid of older voting equipment. Muscogee County Elections Director Nancy Boren couldn't believe the offer.

"I'll let you have all the equipment for $10. I was like, for $10 per piece of equipment? She said, 'No. $10 total," says Boren.

While there was licensing and shipping costs, the deal was $10 for 700 voting units and 300 optical scan units. Muscogee County kept about 400 voting units and 10 optical scanners. The rest went to either Richmond County, or into the Secretary of State's reserves.

"A great deal of whether or not the voter or citizen feels secure is psychological," says Boone. "Do they really feel that this system is better?"

So far, from what he's seen, Dr. Boone says the Express Vote system is moving Georgia in the right direction.

CBS46 has also learned that in the next couple of weeks, Rockdale County will be doing voter education and demonstrating the system in senior centers and nursing homes.

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