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The Georgia government has approved a deal to buy new voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems, which says it will implement 30,000 machines across the state by the March primary. (Photo/Rebecca Wright)

Athens-Clarke County released new voting machines last December for testing before the 2020 Presidential Primary in March, according to an ACC news release.

The new voting machines are part of an initiative managed by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office and will replace the previous voting systems, according to the release.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia is switching to Dominion Voting Systems, a voting company with machines used in states such as Colorado and California. Dominion will install 30,000 of its voting units in Georgia by the primary on March 24, which the AJC says is “the largest rollout of elections equipment in U.S. history.”

Once complete, the Dominion rollout in Georgia will have taken 8 months as compared to the 2 1/2 years it took Colorado to fully implement units in 2016, according to the AJC.

"The new voting system is easy to use, provides opportunities for voters to review their votes on a screen and on paper before casting their ballot, and also provides our office with multiple ways to review election results if necessary,” Charlotte Sosebee, ACC Director of Elections and Voter Registration, said in the ACC news release.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office said the initial rollout was on schedule, but some voters are worried about the “shortcuts” that may be taken to install them on time, according to the AJC.

The new units will maintain voter security while allowing voters to double-check their choices, according to the release.

Under the new system, voters will check in with a photo ID and receive an access card, which grants them access to the voting unit. Voters will make their selections on a touch screen and review their choices on screen before printing out a paper ballot. Voters will then scan this paper ballot with an optical scanner. After scanning, voters will deposit their ballots into a secure container, the press release said.

The digital scans, in addition to the paper ballots, allow the ACC Board of Elections to have access to a secure paper trail in the event of a recount or audit, according to the release.

The new voting units started rolling out in December for people to test and adjust to. These test units use various questions about Georgia so that testers can try out different types of responses, such as those with multiple selections. A test unit is available at the ACC Board of Elections Office, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., until early February. Units are available at the following locations for public testing.

Additional locations and times may be found here.

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