Municipal elections are set for Nov. 5, but the state already has its eyes set on 2020. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is making the rounds to talk election security with local officials, and he paid Fayette County a visit Oct. 23. 

“We’re traveling throughout the state meeting as many of the county election officials as we can because we have new voting systems coming into place throughout the state,” said Raffensperger. 

Set to roll out for the March 2020 primaries, called it a paper ballot system with the touch screen technology voters are used to. 

“After they’ve made all their selections and they press that button, now it will be to print a ballot as opposed to casting a ballot,” he said. “The ballot will be printed out, then they can verify their vote and they put it in the scanning system and the optical scanner will scan their ballot.”

Raffensperger loaded the system’s ability to ensure accuracy. 

“Now, for the first time in 18 years, we’ll actually be able to do physical recounts, and we’ll be able to do audits of an election so that we really know that it was accurately counted, the winner really won, the loser really lost, and that we can move on down the road,”

Next year represents a major challenge, but one Raffensperger’s office is ready to tackle.

“We expect a huge turnout, a lot of energy, and a lot of excitement on both sides,” he said. “We have to get 32,000 new voting systems in place in all 159 counties, so we have a big lift, and that’s why were covering a lot of ground and moving quickly. We understand how important it is, and how important it is to get it right.”

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (second from left) meets with (L to R) Board of Elections member Darryl Hicks, Director of Elections Floyd Jones, and Board of Elections member Aaron Wright. 
(Staff Photo by Christopher Dunn)