ATLANTA — Georgia election officials have shipped the last truckloads of new voting machines that will make their statewide debut during the presidential primaries next month.
Trucks carrying devices for the last six counties - including Macon, Bryan, Gwinnett and Union - awaiting shipments left Friday from the metro Atlanta warehouse where state election officials have been testing the machines and other equipment - from the printers to the touch screens to the scanners.
"Every piece of machinery that comes in here - Dominion, who is the contractor has to put them together and then everything has to be acceptance tested by the state," explained Gabriel Sterling, implementation manager with the Secretary of State's office. "We've had a few failures here and there, like a small percentage, but you want that in your testing, because if everything gets through, you're testing isn't good enough."
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger faced a challenge in distributing 30,000 machines on time. Georgia's presidential primaries are March 24, but early voting starts March 2. Sterling said about 20 counties have used them already.
Thomas County in south Georgia was among the last six counties to get the new machines. Its elections supervisor, Frank Scoggins, says he'll be ready despite the tight deadline.
Sterling said there has also been months of training performed, as far back as October, to ensure the state is ready to use the new machines.
"We've gone through three rounds of training plus a statewide conference with all the elections officials and they are now in the process of training their poll workers," Sterling added. "So it's been an ongoing process for now for months and months and months."
11Alive photographer Stephen Boissy and digital producer Adrianne Haney contributed to this report.
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