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Citizens can try new voting system

By Rachel McDaniel Pike County voters will use Georgia’s new secure paper ballot system during upcoming elections. Pike’s election supervisor Lynn Vickers is inviting members of the public to stop by the Office of Registration and Elections and try out the new voting machine. ’Everyone is invited to drop by and test it out and see how it works and if there are local groups who want us to come out and do demonstrations, we will be glad to do that as well,’ she said. ‘I think voters will be fine with the touchscreen part because it is similar to the last voting machines and is very easy to use.’ Vickers said the biggest difference in the voting system is that voters will select the candidates on the touchscreen, then review their selections before printing the ballot on paper. The paper ballots will then have to be run through a ballot scanner to record the citizen’s vote. A state grant of $207,000 for Pike County provided the equipment, tables, cords and other items needed to take care of the equipment. Pike County will receive 57 new voting machines and printers as well as 11 ballot scanners. The county will not have to purchase any extra equipment, but will see an increase in the cost of elections due to the additional poll workers who will be needed. She said an additional two to three poll workers will be needed on election day. ’The new system is going to require more poll workers because someone has to stay at the ballot scanner machine at all times,’ said Vickers. The Presidential Preference Primary on March 24 with early voting starting Monday, March 2 and lasting through Friday, March 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Office of Elections and Registration. Saturday voting will be offered as well on March 14. A general primary election will be held May 19 with a general primary runoff set for July 21. The general election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 3. Voters will be using a new touch screen system to cast their ballots and it is set up at the Office of Elections and Registration for citizens to preview before they vote in this year’s elections. The last day to register and be eligible to vote in the March special election and runoff election is Feb. 24. Several offices in Pike are up for election this year, including sheriff, county commission chairman, probate judge, magistrate judge, coroner, county commission District 3 and District 4 seats and the District 3, 4 and 5 school board seats. Those who have already announced their candidacy include Rebekah Hanson who will run for Pike County Clerk of Superior Court, Marcia Callaway Ingram who will run for Magistrate Judge and Virginia ‘˜Ginny’ Blakeney and Brent Taylor who are both running for Pike County Probate Judge. All candidates who submit bios to the Pike County Journal Reporter via will have them published prior to the election.

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