County works to make the transition to paper ballots a seamless one.
On March 24, the state of Georgia will make history by rolling out the largest deployment of election equipment in the history of the United States. The move is a result of an initiative by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to move state and local elections to a paper ballot system that can be verified by the voter and audited by election officials.
As the Cherokee County elections officials prepare for this momentous election, they want to assure voters that they are working very hard to make the transition as smooth as possible. The voting experience largely will remain unchanged, as voters will still receive a voter card, and place the card into a ballot-marking device, where they will make choices by selecting the options on a screen, and review their selections on that screen. It is at this point that the process changes from that of the previous process for voting in person. After reviewing their selections on the screen, voters will print their ballots on a stand-alone printer stationed beside each touchscreen. Voters will have the opportunity to review their selections on the printed ballot, and then place the paper ballot into a scanner attached to a large ballot box. Once scanned, the ballot has been cast, and the votes have been recorded. Visit www.securevotega.com for more information.
As the presidential preference primary quickly approaches, there are two websites offering voter information resources. The registration deadline for eligibility to vote in the March 24 primary is Feb. 24. Prior to the deadline, voters should visit the Georgia My Voter Page (www.mvp.sos.ga.gov) to verify their voter registration or make any changes to their address information. This website also allows voters to check the address of their polling location, view their sample ballots, and even track the status of their absentee ballots. The Cherokee County Election website (http://voter.cherokeega.com) lists upcoming election dates, as well as advance voting times and locations. It also provides a link to an absentee ballot application, which may be printed and mailed, emailed, or faxed to the elections office for processing.
In preparation for large voter turnouts throughout 2020, the Board of Elections and Registration voted to add an additional early voting location in the south end of Cherokee County. For the three weeks preceding primaries and general elections, early voting will be available in the South Cherokee Annex Recreation Center, located at 7545 Main St., Building 200, in Woodstock, as well as at the Cherokee County Elections and Voter Registration Office, located at 400 E. Main St. in Canton. The recreation center location replaces the Woodstock Public Library advance voting site.
The Voting Experience
1. Present photo identification, and receive voter card.
2. Place card into a ballot-marking device.
3. Make choices by selecting options on a screen.
4. Review selections on the screen.
5. Print ballots on a stand-alone printer stationed beside each touchscreen.
6. Review selections on the printed ballot. Selections can be changed at this step.
7. Place printed ballot into a scanner attached to a large ballot box.
8. Voting is complete.
– Kim Stancil, director of the Cherokee County Board of Elections and Registration.
Georgia officials take steps to clear confusion over voter registration.
In late 2019, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office announced that it is extending the voter registration of roughly 22,000 people whose registration had been canceled as part of routine, legally required list maintenance. The 22,000 records that are being moved into inactive status are people who last had contact with the voter registration system between January and May 2012.
“We are proactively taking additional steps to prevent any confusion come the day of the election,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “We are taking the unprecedented step to give certain individuals who have been identified as having moved and in need of updating their information additional time to vote or contact their county elections office to update their registration.”
The affected individuals voted or had some other type of contact with the voter registration system in early 2012, but not since. When the list-maintenance process was begun in June, 2015, it searched for the registrations of people who had not voted or had any other type of contact with their county elections office (like submitting an updated registration, requesting an absentee ballot, or signing a petition) since before June 1, 2012, and classified them as inactive voters. The additional step gives voters who had contact with the system in the first five months of 2012, but not since, additional time in inactive status prior to being removed from the rolls.
All voters are required by Georgia law to update their voter registration information if they move. Voters can check that their voter registration is accurate and up-to-date on the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page (www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do), and update their voter registration information through that same page.
A 1993 federal law requires states to maintain their voter registration list. Georgia is one of nine states that cancels the registration of people who have not had contact with the registration system for a period of time and have not responded to mail sent to their last known address asking for confirmation, a process spelled out in a decades-old state law and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
People who have not had contact for three years were classified as inactive voters and were sent a confirmation request. If they did not respond, then, after two general elections — four years — they were sent another notice by mail with a postage-paid postcard asking again for a confirmation or an update on their address.
None of these 22,000 responded to either request.
Ways they can contact the registration system include voting, signing a petition on any topic, applying for or renewing their driver’s license, contacting their county voter registrar, or updating their address online at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. All of these ways also are available to any eligible person whose registration was canceled, so they can register again to vote.
“We have added many ways to make it easy to register to vote and update registrations, which is why we have a record number of registered voters in Georgia,” Raffensperger said. “Georgia is a leader in voter convenience, with automatic registration, three weeks of early voting — including a Saturday — and no-excuse absentee voting.”and no-excuse absentee voting.”
– Reprinted with permission of the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.