An election primer on Georgia’s voting system and ballot security (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)


By Kristina Torres - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct 28, 2016) — If you vote in Georgia, you care about ballot security. And ahead of this fall’s presidential election, it’s never been more in the news.

In the wake of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s call on supporters to prevent a “rigged” election in November, and federal officials warning of cybersecurity threats after hackers appeared to have targeted elections systems in Arizona and Illinois, we asked the state’s Center for Election Systems to give us a primer on key issues raised by experts about Georgia’s system.

The center, based at Kennesaw State University, has since 2002 worked on behalf of the state to oversee the operation of the machines and make sure the intricate web of Georgia’s voting system performs smoothly for every federal, state and county election. Here’s how the voting system in Georgia works in relation to security issues (and why the guys who run it are not nearly as worried as you are)...

Georgia’s Merle King, however, said voters should have no doubt the state’s machines are maintained well and in good working order. King, who is the executive director of the state’s election systems center, said a statewide review last year found that about 98 percent of the machines were available and ready to go. Repairs in each of the past 10 years or so have affected only about 1 percent of machines in the state annually. ...

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit