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Bibb County gets new voting machines

The new voting system comes with some changes. We walk you through how to use the new machine.

MACON, Ga. — According to the Secretary of State's Office, Georgia counties should have new voting machines by February. 

Last June, Federal Judge Amy Totenberg ordered the state not to use the old system past 2019. She warned Georgia had to be ready to use hand-marked paper ballots if the new system wasn't ready for next year's presidential primary.

Now, counties are starting to get the new voting machines. Bibb County is the latest to receive theirs.

"At about 8:45, they said they were about 10 minutes away. Two trucks pulled up and we started unloading," said Clarence Maynard, the lead technician at Bibb County Board of Elections. 

Hundreds of boxes with new voting machines arrived from Atlanta to the Bibb County Board of Elections on Monday. 

Maynard said they're expecting to receive a total of 422 units with the voting machine and a printer. 

The new voting system uses touchscreens and printed-out paper ballots to check the electronic results. It also allows voters to enlarge the text and includes an audio version of the ballot. 

Georgia adopted the new system after years of concerns about voting irregularities and security problems. 

"So many people talking against the old one, so now, we have a fresh start," Maynard said. 

13WMAZ reporter Ashlyn Webb had a chance to try out the new machines. 

HOW IT WORKS: 

You start by inserting the activation card and making your selections on the ballot. 

After selecting who or what you'll vote for, you print out your ballot. The printed copy will have a QR code and show who you voted for. You'll then feed your ballot through the tabulator. 

It will scan, take a picture of and hold the paper copy of your ballot for records.

Then, voila, your ballot is cast. 

"MORE ACCURATE, MORE ADVANCED":

Thomas Gillion, the elections officer at the Bibb County Board of Elections, says this new system will help them to be more accurate. 

"If there is any kind of question about accuracy or hacking or anything like that, we have every ballot that gets cast. We can go back and hand-count each and every one if need be," Gillion said. 

Voter Wayne Woodard says a new system was needed. 

"I think it's a good thing," Woodard said. "I'm sure it's going to be more advanced, more accurate, which is super-important considering everything that happened before."

Bibb County has set up a demo for the public to try out and get comfortable with before voting starts for the March presidential primary.

Voting for the Democratic Primary begins March 2. The Republican Party canceled their primary. 

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