Cobb County to trial hand-marked paper ballot backup system

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — Many Cobb County voters will cast hand-marked paper ballots in Nov. 5 municipal elections as a backup plan for Georgia's election equipment ordered by a federal judge.

News outlets report that paper ballots will be trialed in Austell, Kennesaw, Powder Springs and Smyrna.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg ordered a contingency plan be developed in case the state's newly purchased touchscreen voting machines aren't fully implemented by 2020.

The new machines print a paper record of a voter's selections. They'll replace the state's current outdated machines that don't produce an auditable paper trail.

Cobb County elections director Janine Eveler says she expects Cobb voters to be using the new machines by March, but that the paper ballot test is a "fail safe" against any issues.

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