ATLANTA (AP) - A federal judge says Georgia allowed its election system to grow "way too old and archaic" and now has a deep hole to dig out of to ensure that the right to vote is protected.

After a hearing ended Friday night, U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg is in the difficult position of having to decide whether the state must immediately abandon its outdated voting machines in favor of an interim solution for this fall's special and municipal elections. Georgia plans to implement a new voting system statewide next year.

Election integrity advocates sued Georgia in 2017 alleging that the touchscreen voting machines the state has used since 2002 are vulnerable to hacking.

Lawyers for state election officials say it would be too costly and chaotic to use an interim system this fall.

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