2022 Georgia Code
Title 21 - Elections
Chapter 2 - Elections and Primaries Generally
Article 8A - State-Wide Voting Equipment
§ 21-2-300. Provision of New Voting Equipment by State; Uniform System for All Elections to Be Conducted With Use of Scanning Ballots Marked by Electronic Ballot Markers; Pilot Programs Authorized; County Responsibilities; Education; County and Municipal Contracts for Equipment

Universal Citation: GA Code § 21-2-300 (2022)
    1. The equipment used for casting and counting votes in county, state, and federal elections shall be the same in each county in this state and shall be provided to each county by the state, as determined by the Secretary of State.
    2. As soon as possible, once such equipment is certified by the Secretary of State as safe and practicable for use, all federal, state, and county general primaries and general elections as well as special primaries and special elections in the State of Georgia shall be conducted with the use of scanning ballots marked by electronic ballot markers and tabulated by using ballot scanners for voting at the polls and for absentee ballots cast in person, unless otherwise authorized by law; provided, however, that such electronic ballot markers shall produce paper ballots which are marked with the elector’s choices in a format readable by the elector.
    3. The state shall furnish a uniform system of electronic ballot markers and ballot scanners for use in each county as soon as possible. Such equipment shall be certified by the United States Election Assistance Commission prior to purchase, lease, or acquisition. At its own expense, the governing authority of a county may purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire additional electronic ballot markers and ballot scanners of the type furnished by the state, if the governing authority so desires. Additionally, at its own expense, the governing authority of a municipality may choose to acquire its own electronic ballot markers and ballot scanners by purchase, lease, or other procurement process.
    4. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Secretary of State is authorized to conduct pilot programs to test and evaluate the use of electronic ballot markers and ballot scanners in primaries and elections in this state.
  1. Each county shall, prior to being provided with voting equipment by the state, provide polling places that are adequate for the operation of such equipment including, if necessary, the placement within the polling places of a sufficient number of electrical outlets and telephone lines.
  2. Each county shall, prior to being provided with voting equipment by the state, provide or contract for adequate technical support for the installation, set up, and operation of such voting equipment for each primary, election, and special primary and special election as the Secretary of State shall determine by rule or regulation.
  3. The Secretary of State shall be responsible for the development, implementation, and provision of a continuing program to educate voters, election officials, and poll workers in the proper use of such voting equipment. Each county shall bear the costs, including transportation, subsistence, and lodging, incurred by its election and registration officials in attending courses taught by or arranged by the Secretary of State for instruction in the use of the voting equipment.
    1. Counties shall be authorized to contract with municipal governments for the use of such voting equipment in municipal elections under terms and conditions specified by the Secretary of State to assure that the equipment is properly used and kept secure.
    2. Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Section 21-2-45, counties may not levy a fee for use of state owned voting equipment but may require municipalities to reimburse the county for the actual expenses related to the election or elections that are subject to the county and municipal contract.

History. Code 1981, § 21-2-300 , enacted by Ga. L. 2001, p. 269, § 19; Ga. L. 2003, p. 517, § 28; Ga. L. 2019, p. 7, § 18/HB 316.

The 2019 amendment, effective April 2, 2019, redesignated the existing provisions of subsection (a) as paragraph (a)(1); in paragraph (a)(1), substituted “The” for “Provided that the General Assembly specifically appropriates funding to the Secretary of State to implement this subsection, the” at the beginning, and deleted “, by the July, 2004, primary election and afterwards,” following “federal elections shall” in the middle; and added paragraphs (a)(2) through (a)(4).

Law reviews.

For note on the 2001 enactment of this Code section, see 18 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 96 (2001).

For article on the 2019 amendment of this Code section, see 36 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 81 (2019).

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