Dear Editor:

I have always cast my vote in secret, as that is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Have you tried out the new voting machines Georgia will use beginning with the presidential preference primary on March 24? The Barrow County elections director guided me through a practice vote on a very large and easy-to-read touch screen that can be viewed by others from many feet away. But how will election officials keep the screen private and the ballot secret?

After using the touch screen to make ballot selections, a voter prints out the results, which are hidden in a large barcode. The names of candidates selected are also printed, but in a tiny, 9-point font. I can’t read or decipher a barcode, can you?

Then a voter has to feed the paper print-out into a large tabulator machine that will “read” the barcode and drop their ballot into a hopper for safe keeping. Have you ever been to the store and the shelf price says one thing but the scanner at checkout records something different? How do voters know the tabulator is reliable and hasn’t been hacked?

In August of last year, the secretary of state’s office was court ordered to develop a back-up plan if the new electronic voting system fails. In such cases, Plan B requires the use of hand-marked paper ballots.

I think Barrow County should skip the machines altogether and go straight to Plan B because hand-marked paper ballots are done in secret and can’t be hacked.

Terri Bear

Bethlehem

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