By Ally Davis, COM 250 Reporter
Edited by Ben Allee, COM 303 Editor
ROME, Ga. — Floyd County has introduced new voting machinery and security measures in preparation for the 2020 presidential election.
On January 1, 2020, Georgia introduced an entirely new voting technology system and illegalized all of the state’s previous voting equipment. The new equipment gives the voter the opportunity to physically turn in their printed out ballot instead of filling out a ballot virtually. The new appliances cost the state over $140 million. Chief of Elections Robert Brady explains the changes to the new voting technology.
“It is a slightly different procedure involved in using it but it’s essentially the same,” Brady said. “The biggest thing it does is it prints what your ballot is on a piece of paper and it allows you to put that piece of paper in a machine that will record your vote.”
The new system has distinct steps, according to Brady. First, the voter will give their license to the person sitting behind the poll pad, which will then scan the voter’s license and sign them in. Then the voter will be given a card to enter into the new ballot marking devices.
After voting on the device, it will print out their ballot. Then they will place their ballot in the polling place scanner, which contains a key card to keep track of all the ballots. It also contains a backup key card. If those both fail, then the ballots are still held inside the polling place scanner.
Brady guaranteed all of the machines have been tested, and Floyd County’s Board of Elections confirmed the new equipment performs with local regulations and is operating well.
In the two previous presidential primaries, Floyd County has had an average of less than 30% turnout, a number Brady expects to stay the same for the 2020 election. However, he hopes that the new voting system will encourage a higher voter turnout.
In order to vote, Berry College students should be registered in the county that they are from and file for an absentee ballot if in Rome during the election.