New voting machines statewide and new precincts for some Columbia County voters will go into effect with the March 24 presidential primary and TSPLOST election
New voting machines will be in use statewide, including Columbia County’s 47 precincts, for the March 24 Presidential Preference Primary and Special Election, and Nancy Gay, Columbia County Board of Elections executive director, has some advice for voters.
“Have patience. This is a brand new system,” she says. However, she adds, “The voting process is still the same. From a voter’s standpoint, it’s not that much different.”
When voters arrive at their precinct, they will present their identification to a poll worker, who will scan it into an iPad. Voters then will sign the iPad with a stylus pen to verify their information and receive a card from the poll worker to take to a voting booth.
Voting booths now will include a touch-screen monitor and a printer. After inserting the card into the voting machine and casting their ballots on the touch screen, voters can review their selections on the screen before printing their ballots.
Voters should review their printed ballot and then put it into the scanner to be counted. “Do not leave with the paper,” Gay says. “A ballot isn’t cast until it is put in the scanner.”
Any voter who sees a mistake on the printed ballot should take it to a poll manager.
For voters who would like to see the new voting machines before the primary, Gay says, “We have a unit set up in our conference room where people can test it out.”
Along with primary presidential candidates, the ballot includes the 2023-2033 TSPLOST referendum that would secure funding for transportation projects in the CSRA.
Upcoming Columbia County road projects would include the widening of Hereford Farm and Hardy McManus roads and construction of a roundabout on Stevens Creek Road. In addition, Scott Johnson, Columbia County manager, says, “We have a lot of resurfacing projects all over the county.”
Some voters also will cast their ballots in new locations as the county made several precinct changes last year. The March primary will be the first election in which the new precincts will be in operation. Voters affected by the changes were notified by mail and sent new precinct cards.
To confirm their voter registration information and precinct, and to see a sample ballot, voters can visit mvp.sos.ga.gov.
By Todd Beck