GRADY COUNTY Election Superintendent Denise Maddox demonstrates how the state’s new election system works. Judge Maddox is planning to hold a demo election on the new system, which will give the public the opportunity to see and use the new machines firsthand. The demonstration opens Monday, Nov. 11 in the Grady County Probate Court office.
Once the Nov. 5 elections are behind us, local voters will have a special opportunity to learn about the state’s new voting system and actually use the new system in advance of the Presidential Primary election next March.
Grady County Election Superintendent Denise Maddox announced this week that she has received one of the new voting machines and she has set up a demonstration area inside her office at the courthouse.
“Beginning, Monday, Nov. 11, the demo of the new election system will be available for local voters to stop by and get familiar with,” Maddox said.
The Grady County probate judge and elections superintendent will hold a demo election solely for educational purposes.
Voters will have the opportunity to use the new system to cast ballots. Some of the questions on the demo ballot will be the state bird, state tree, state flower, the location of the original state capital, and the year Georgia was founded.
“This is a fun, hands-on way to learn to operate the new machines. They really are not that much different than what we are all accustomed to,” Judge Maddox said.
The Grady County elections superintendent says the new ballot marking devices operate similarly to the existing touchscreen voting machines that have been in use here since 2002 except that once a voter is finished voting, rather than cast their ballot they will print out a paper copy of their ballot. Each ballot marking device station will be equipped with printers.
According to Mrs. Maddox, the voter can review the ballot to make sure it is accurate and as they go to leave the precinct they will insert the paper ballot into a scanner which will tabulate the results and the paper ballot is deposited into a locked ballot box for retrieval as needed for audits or recounts.
“It doesn’t look really difficult,” she added.
The state is providing Grady County with 66 ballot marking devices, 16 polling place scanners, 27 poll pads (which poll workers use to check in voters at each polling place), one Opti-Scan central scanning device (used to scan mailed in ballots and provisional ballots) and one election management system computer.
The new system will be used for the March 24, 2020 presidential primary and into the future.
The state awarded the $107 million contract to Dominion Voting, a Denver-based company, for 30,000 new voting machines.
The Nov. 5 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum and Cairo municipal elections will be the last elections to be conducted using the existing system.
“I want to work to make sure the public is educated and comfortable using the new system. We will also be working with our poll workers to make sure they are knowledgeable of how the new system works and are comfortable operating it,” Mrs. Maddox said.
Watch The Messenger for more information on the upcoming demonstration of the new election system.