The Latest: Electronic voting machines clear 2 hurdles in GA

February 21, 2019 - 5:10 pm

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on a push for new voting equipment in Georgia (all times local):

5:00 p.m.

A Georgia House committee has approved legislation that would move the state to new touchscreen voting machines that print a paper ballot, just hours after it was approved by a subcommittee.

The fast-moving legislation, approved Thursday, will go before the full House for a vote next.

Several county election directors testified earlier this week in favor of the electronic ballot markers, saying they're easiest to use. But cybersecurity experts, election integrity activists and several concerned citizens testified that hand-marked paper ballots are cheaper and more secure.

The bill was approved by a vote of 13 to 6 along party lines, with Republicans in support.

Democrats say the wide-ranging bill makes some good changes to election law, but they want hand-marked paper ballots over electronically marked ones.

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10:10 a.m.

Voters in Georgia could soon get new electronic touchscreen voting machines that print a paper ballot under legislation approved by a House subcommittee Thursday.

The nearly seven hours of testimony leading up to the vote was at times raucous, with a packed room of citizens and activists often cheering or hissing at speakers.

Several county election directors testified in favor of electronic ballot markers, saying they're easier to use. But cybersecurity experts, election integrity activists and several concerned citizens testified that hand-marked paper ballots are cheaper and more secure.

House minority leader Bob Trammell, a Democrat, tried several times to enter amendments to the Republican drafted bill.

One that was voted down stipulated that scanners tabulate only human readable marks, meaning a voter's selections couldn't be encoded in a barcode.

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