HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Board of Elections Chair Janet Olivia advised the community Dec. 22 that Towns County voters should expect to use updated voting machines to cast their ballots in the 2020 election. “Georgia voters will be using a new method of voting in 2020, utilizing Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs),” Olivia said. “These devices will be comprised of two parts: an electronic tablet (touchscreen) that will allow the voter to make his or candidate selections, and an attached printer, which will then print the voter’s selections on a paper ballot. The voter then has an opportunity to review his/her selections prior to casting the ballot.
“Once the voter is satisfied with the ballot, he or she will then enter the paper ballot into an ImageCast Precinct (ICP) Scanning Device to cast the ballot. The touchscreen tablets do not record any data, only the scanners. Each voting station in a precinct will include the two-component working station with privacy accommodations. The stations are equipped for persons who are visually or hearing impaired. For persons who are disabled and voting in person, please contact any poll worker onsite so that you avoid standing in line.”
Olivia explained that the paper ballot that is printed is not a receipt. Instead, it is a potential ballot that has yet to be cast. Once the voter places the ballot into the ICP scanner. Towns County will have one per precinct and one at the Advanced Voting location, then the ballot will be recorded and the voter’s selections will then be counted.
“Poll workers will be onsite to assist voters with any issues that arise with the BMDs and the ICP Scanning Devices.,” Olivia added. “We also will be using new ‘check-in’ devices that should expedite voter lines. New poll pads are equipped to scan driver licenses and allow the voter to electronically sign his or her name in lieu of signing a written form on election days.”
Olivia stated that the Towns County Board of Elections is in the process of launching a Facebook page to inform voters of election-related updates.