A federal judge who’s considering whether Georgia should have to switch from electronic voting machines to paper ballots for the November election called the situation “a catch-22.” Voting integrity groups and individuals sued state and county election officials, arguing that the touchscreen voting machines Georgia has used since 2002 are vulnerable to hacking and provide no way to confirm that votes have been recorded correctly because they don’t produce a paper trail. They’ve asked U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg to order Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican candidate for governor, to implement the use of paper ballots for the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
But lawyers for the state argue that making the switch would be difficult, costly and would create chaos. Early voting is set to begin Oct. 15, and training for poll workers has already begun in many counties, they said.
Totenberg heard arguments Wednesday from both sides and said she hopes to have a decision by Friday, or Monday at the latest.
Five states, along with more than 300 counties in eight other states, exclusively use touchscreen voting machines that provide no paper record, according to Verified Voting, a nonprofit group focused on ensuring the accuracy of elections.