New voting machines making their way to South Carolina and Georgia

Friday, Jan. 24,2020

SC Votes is taking the new voting machines across every single state county in order to introduce them to voters before the critical 2020 elections. (Source: WRDW)

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- With the Democratic Presidential Primary right around the corner, voting is on everyone's mind. Officials with SC Votes have been making their way around the state in order to show off the new paper voting machines.

Since 2014, the voting machines have been all electronic, making many uneasy. These concerns were made worse after the 2016 presidential election, but the new paper voting machines are hopefully going to bypass any of those problems in the upcoming season.

"This is a 110 percent upgrade in every phrase of the word from the old machines." said Connor Claypoole with SC Votes.

Claypoole has been traveling since June with SC Votes to show off the new machines. So far, he says the response has been "overwhelmingly positive."

"The benefit of the machines, is there is no wireless access." Claypoole said. "There is no Internet access to them. It would be like if someone tried to hack into a light pole."

Some residents in Aiken think the paper ballots could be a step in the past, but a necessary one nonetheless.

"It might take longer," voter Jonathan Fernandez said. "It might be going back, but sometimes that's better than whatever they have now."

The new voting machines have greatly simplified the voting process. You put your blank ballot inside the machine, make your selections, and it will bring you to a review screen. After you have verified your selections, the machine will take you to a screen where it will ask you to print out your ballot. The ballots now have barcodes and a list of all of your selections under it. You take your printed ballot and put it in the ballot box face down and you're all done.

"Anything to be able to try to externally tamper with the results of the voting process itself has been completely taken out with this new voting system." Claypoole said.

SC Votes is planning to visit all 43 South Carolina counties at least once. They are planning another tour right before the primaries take place.

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