Election officials say voting is 'safe and secure'

Voter safety and security in Ga.

People in Georgia say this is a very important election. They want to have their voices heard and their vote counted. But are your votes safe? Our Yvonne Thomas took a closer look at how local and state voting officials protect your vote.

Thousands of people in Georgia are going to the polls believing their vote will make a difference. “It's important because our voice is important,” said voter Wanda Strayhan.  “If we want change, then we have to get out and cast our vote.” “It makes you feel good,” said voter Reco Jones. “Where your voice counts, where your opinion counts.”

But not everyone agrees. Several people have concerns the security of their ballot.  “People talk about hacking and things like that. It seems to be very popular this year,” said Andy Holland, Houston County’s Regional Election Assistant.

But Holland said because the election server doesn't use the internet, that's almost impossible to do. “To be able to do anything to our machines you would need physical access to the machine and its memory card,” said Holland.

But the memory card slot is locked, and the machines are locked away in a room Holland wouldn't show us, just to be safe.

Press Secretary with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office Candice Broce said the Georgia voting system is complex. “It's never been reported to be an issue and it's so unlikely to happen to the point of it being improbable,” said Broce.  

Holland said the voting machines are checked before the start of the election. “We make sure the calibration is set properly,” said Holland. “That it's recording votes correctly, and all of that is done before the equipment’s even put in place.”

But if something were to happen to voting machines, election officials said voters ballots will not be compromised, Even without a paper trail. “At the end of the election we do produce what’s called a number list of voters,” said Holland. “Everyone who has voted will appear on that numbered list, and that is public record and can be viewed.”

Just to give you an idea of the security, Yvonne Thomas had to sign a release form to go inside Houston County's election rooms offices to record that interview.

Candice Broce with the Georgia Secretary of State Office said anyone who tried to compromise voting security could face multiple felony charges.


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