Elections in Georgia could return to paper ballots. A bill recently introduced in the Georgia General Assembly calls for the state to scrap its 16-year-old touch-screen voting system and replace it with a paper-based system. Paper ballots, used by about 70 percent of the nation, are more secure than electronic machines because they can’t be hacked, said state Rep. Scot Turner, the sponsor of House Bill 680. Currently, Georgia’s 27,000 touch screens leave no paper record of how people voted, making it impossible to audit elections for accuracy or to conduct verifiable recounts.
“The most secure system in the world for conducting elections is pen or pencil and a piece of paper,” said Turner, a Republican from Holly Springs. “It’s the same type of Scantron technology we’ve been using since we were kids filling out standardized tests.”
It could cost about $25 million to $35 million to buy new voting equipment across the state — primarily optical scanning machines that would read paper ballots, Turner said. Gov. Nathan Deal’s budget proposal for the upcoming year doesn’t include funding for a new voting system.