Athens Election Official: Electronic Voting Machines Are Safe

The top election official in Athens-Clarke County says not to worry about security when it comes to your vote November 6. There were enough concerns about electronic voting that the state was looking at using paper ballots, but this movement was shot down by a judge Monday.

“I think if voters reached out of us directly, we try to hash it down a little bit to just insure that the elections are accurate, and our equipment is secured,” said Elections Director for Athens-Clarke County Charlotte Sosebee. “Our GEM (Global Election Management System) server is not connected to any internet connection at all. The voting equipment also has no connection whatsoever.”

Sosebee said that people have called and visited her office to say that they didn’t want to vote on an electronic machine. University of Georgia student Kendall Denney said that she prefers a paper ballot.
For the last presidential election, (she wasn’t worried about security), I didn’t even think that could happen,” Denney said. “But, because of the news and hearing that people think that it can, I think that I’d rather use paper.”

Sosebee said that the she thinks there’s some misconception over the safety of the machines. The voter registration process is connected to the internet, but the voting machines are not.

“One of the things I believe people don’t realize is that there’s two different processes when it comes to the election umbrella,” Sosebee said. “There’s the voter registration process, and there’s the elections process.”

Georgia residents can register to vote online here. If you are unable to make it to the polls on November 6, voters can now send out absentee ballots. To download an absentee voter application go to the Athens-Clarke County website. Ballots must be turned in by election day in order for them to account.

By Ross Crowell

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