ATLANTA — Officials say new paper ballots for every vote cast will ease auditing and "ensure confidence in results," replacing a system that went online in 2002.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Dominion Voting Systems was selected to implement its new verified paper ballot system.
A representative from the Secretary of State's office said the initial contract is for $89 million. Over the next ten years, the total will amount to $106 million.
Implementation of the new secure voting system will start immediately and be in place and fully operational for the March 24, 2020 Presidential Preference Primary, officials said. Some testing will take place for the November 2019 municipal election cycle.
“Elections security is my top priority,” said Raffensperger. “We look forward to working with national and local elections security experts to institute best practices and continue to safeguard all aspects of physical and cyber-security in an ever-changing threat environment.”
Election integrity advocates and individual voters sued Georgia in 2017 alleging that the touchscreen voting machines the state has used since 2002 are unsecure and vulnerable to hacking.
A law passed this year and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp provides specifications for a new system in which voters make their selections on electronic machines that print out a paper record that is read and tallied by scanners.
The Georgia Secretary of State's office has already partnered with the Department of Homeland Security and private cyber-security companies to provide network monitoring, cyber-hygiene scanning, and cyber-security assessments. Many Georgia counties have also partnered with DHS to provide physical security assessments of their election offices.
“Election officials and voters alike can be assured they are using the most modern, accessible and security-focused system on the market today, with paper ballots for every vote cast to ease auditing and ensure confidence in results,” said Dominion CEO John Poulous.
“As Election Director my job is to make sure every voter has a positive experience,” said Rockdale County Elections Supervisor, Cynthia Willingham. “We are grateful to the Secretary of State for the new system and will ensure every voter is able to efficiently and accurately cast their ballot.”