Catoosa County tests new voting machines
Catoosa County's 12 new voting machines were put to the test for Tuesday's local elections.
The pilot county is one of six in the state of Georgia chosen to test the new machines. The county was given 12 new machines. The new system allows voters to check their choices through a printed paper ballot that is scanned in for submission.
Elections Director Tonya Moore says there were no problems reported with the new system. Moore says their main challenge was confusion among voters wanting to vote on Ringgold issues but were not eligible to vote due to them not living within city limits nor paying city taxes.
When it came to utilizing the new voting system to cast votes, voters tell Channel 3 they were satisfied with the process. Sandy Harper says it felt safer compared to the old system.
"There's no question as to what is going into that machine and before...you just had to put a whole lot of faith and trust into what was going in there," Harper explained. "It seems like the problems and question marks are gone with this."
In 2018, the state faced nationwide criticism after reports of long wait times, security breaches and voter suppression at the polls surfaced.
"I hope that we'll do it nationwide because I really think that it will be a good thing," Harper said.
Sam Teasley, Director of External Affairs with the GA Secretary of State's Office, says the feedback from voters is encouraging
"We want Georgia to be in the headlines for what a great program it is, the voters are pleased and most importantly that we got it right," he said.
But he and local election officials agree the focus is on restoring voter confidence across the state and the new system is a way of doing so.
"This system gives us the ability to continue to upgrade in the years to come," Teasley said. "We're confident it's going to be a seamless process."