Bartow County voters some of first in Georgia to use new machines

Early voting began statewide Monday and some voters used the state's new machines to cast their ballots.

"The process, it was absolutely great," explained Sylvia Brodie, a poll manager in Bartow County, who was one of the first to use the new system.  

The Secretary of State's Office selected Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Decatur, Lowndes and Paulding counties as the pilot locations to utilize the ballot marking devices for municipal elections this fall.  

"It's a big, huge telephone.  So if you're smartphone savvy, you'll have no problems," said Brodie.

Similar to the previous machines, voters put a card into the machine to load their ballot.  They use the touchscreen to make their selections and the machine not only records their choices on the card, but also prints a paper copy of their ballot for their review.

Voters must hand the card to a poll worker and insert their paper ballot into the ballot box scanner to officially cast their votes.  

"You can't take it home with you and show people, 'Hey!  Look how I voted.' Because if you're still holding that ballot, you haven't voted," explained Bartow County Election Supervisor Joseph Kirk.

Kirk said Bartow County will be the first in the state to also perform a risk-limiting audit to certify the results of the November 5 election.