The first of the new voting machines was inspected and delivered by the state to the Polk County Board of Elections, and many more are set to arrive in the months to come ahead of the start of the 2020 Election cycle.
With Municipal elections set to start accepting early votes in the days ahead, the first sample of the new touchscreen voting machines that will output a paper ballot was delivered up at the start of the week to Elections Director Lee Ann George.
George said her department will be receiving 91 new machines and printers to go along with them, along with a special reader for each of the seven precincts in Polk County. She said a court order is allowing the county to utilize old machines in the forthcoming municipal election one more time, but then afterward they will be retired.
Wtih the new equipment, voters can make their selections on a more modern touchscreen device that prints a reviewable sheet of paper with a bar code and names of selected candidates that is fed into a scanner for tallying.
The new machines are expected to cost the state $107 million over the next decade, according to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office.
Before the rest of the new machines arrive in the coming weeks and months, there's a municipal election to hold in Polk County for the cities of Aragon, Cedartown and Rockmart.
Early voting gets underway on Tuesday, Oct. 15 following the closure of government offices for Columbus Day. The final day of early voting is Nov. 1.
Those who aren't already registered to vote have just a few days left to get forms filled out and sent into the Board of Elections office. Voter registration closes on Monday, Oct. 7. Anyone who needs help getting registered can contact the Board of Elections before the Monday deadline at 770-749-2103.
During the last week, a precinct will open for Rockmart voters at the Nathan Dean Community Center, located at 604 Goodyear St., Rockmart from Monday, Oct. 28 through Friday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Additionally, those who are unable to make it to the office for early voting, or to the polls on election day in Cedartown, Rockmart and Aragon can request absentee ballots that have to be mailed in by Nov. 1.