As could be expected in an election year, a proposal to overhaul the state’s method of voting is getting bogged down in politics. But it shouldn’t, because this is too important. For background: Georgia uses 16-year-old touchscreen technology for its elections. The machines are powered by Windows 2000, which Microsoft doesn’t even support anymore. And there are always questions about the lack of a paper trail. Votes are recorded on data packs, which can be run through a machine again, but without seeing a voter’s actual ballot, there’s going to be a question of whether tampering might have happened.
Of course no system is foolproof, but pencil-on-paper is as close to perfect as we can get. And with optical scanning, counting votes doesn’t have to take all night (unless, of course, we’re talking Fulton County).
But The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday of a skirmish between two Republican candidates for governor over this very issue.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said he’ll support a plan to ditch the current system and go with paper voting. But Secretary of State Brian Kemp — the state’s top elections official — went for predictable political rhetoric to save face on the voting system he’s used.