Georgia might have a new voting system with paper ballots in time for the 2020 presidential election, according to a bill that cleared the House Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday. The legislation, Senate Bill 403, would replace the state’s 16-year-old electronic voting machines with a system that creates a paper backup to ensure accuracy. “We want to have paper ballots that deliver for voters more confidence,” said state Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth. “The public recognizes that the best-in-class technology for voting is a combination of technology with paper so that you have a verifiable, recountable, physically retallyable ballot.” The legislation is on track for a vote in the full House of Representatives after the committee approved it on a voice vote. If it passes there, it would return to the Senate for further consideration.
… Options include pen-and-paper ballots and touch-screen machines that would print ballots for voters to review. Then voters would feed their paper ballots into tabulation machines.
Opponents of the legislation prefer pen-and-paper ballots, saying touch screens are vulnerable to tampering because they use bar codes for tabulation. Voters wouldn’t be able to tell whether the bar codes matched the candidates they chose, which would also be printed on the ballot.
“The bar code machines can be hacked just like the current ones,” Betsy Shackelford of Decatur said after the committee vote. “Hand-marked paper is best.”