Georgia's new voting machines will get their first big test March 24 during the presidential primary

ATLANTA (CBS46) -- With less than a week to go before the statewide debut of Georgia's new voting machines, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger updated reporters Tuesday on the readiness of the state's new voting machines.

Early voting begins Monday for Georgia's March 24 presidential primary election.

The $104 million system developed by Dominion Voting Systems replaces the aging, paperless system that Georgia voters had used since 2002.

Unlike the old machines, voters will get a paper print-out so they can verify their votes before they scan it into another machine where the votes are tallied and stored.

“We’ve been getting great reviews," Raffensperger said of recent demonstrations in various counties. "The NAACP from local counties are out there on Facebook Live saying, ‘Hey, I used the system. I really like it.’”

Raffensperger's election director Chris Harvey demonstrated the new machines Tuesday morning at an Atlanta Press Club Newsmaker's Breakfast.

Garland Favorito of “Voter GA” tells CBS46 his group is urging voters to vote my mail, saying the new machines can’t be trusted.

“The experts have said over and over that this is hackable, and they’re hackable in a way that can’t be detected," said Favorito.

“We don’t agree with his position, but if people want to vote by mail, that’s their right," Raffensperger said, adding that the new system has been federally certified.

Plus, he said, the state has its own safeguards.

"Before we put the machines out, we actually do a security check, so everything is checked, double-checked," said Raffensperger. "We make sure that code is actually reading what it’s supposed to read." 

Another criticism of the new machines involves a potential lack of privacy.

Some activists in Sumter County have asked a judge for an emergency hearing, saying the font on the new machines is too big, which could cause others to see how a person votes.

Raffensperger said his staff has already addressed that concern by educating poll workers on the proper placement of the machines.

“One of the things that’s easy is just turning it around so the machine actually faces the outer wall so when people walk in, they won’t be able to see," said Raffensperger. "Also, there’s supposed to be a privacy screen in place and make sure that people do have the privacy that they would expect to have.”

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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