The legislature has some work to do to reconcile O.C.G.A. 21-2-280 which says a ballot may be electronic or printed on paper and O.C.G A. 21-2-300 (a) (1) that with regard to new voting equipment the equipment must be the same state wide. O.C.G.A. 21-2-280 only requires official ballots, neither electronic or paper is required.
This gives permission for paper ballots which conflicts with O.C.G.A. 21-2-300 requiring all equipment used for casting and counting be the same statewide. To use anything but manual counting would seem to to infer like equipment be required.
If you haven’t developed a headache from the inconsistencies yet, just hold on. O.C.G.A. 21-2-322 (7) allows for the use of a paper ballot if a name does not appear on the electronic ballot. Based on that the existence of a write in candidate which is permitted by law would allow the use of a paper ballot. O.C.G.A. 21-2-322 (16) Requires “It shall, when properly operated, register or record correctly and accurately every vote cast;” In Dominion there really is no way to know this is done especially since we can not seem to get effective audits.
O.C.G.A. 21-2-320 and O.C.G.A. 21-2-321 authorizes any municipality to authorize the use of voting machines and prescribes the method. I would argue that giving this choice to some but not all voters violates the equal prptection clause of the 14th amemdment and that not giving the choice to go from voting machines to paper ballots as well. Also letting one voter use paper for a write in candidate does not offer other voters equal protection. O.C.G.A. 21-2-2 (13) defines municipality as “an incorporated municipality. I would think a county is also a municipality as O.C.G.A. 21-2-2 (12) says “
(12)“Municipal office” means every municipal office to which persons can be elected by a vote of the electors under the laws of this state and the respective municipal charters.(13)“Municipality” means an incorporated municipality.”
O.C.G.A. 21-2-334 allows for using paper ballots when using voting machines is impractical. There is no provision in law that allows the Secretary of State to second guess the election supervisor as to if the machines are impractical. There may be a State Elections Board rule that allows this but based on law the bullying of Athens-Clarke County to force them to use Dominion may have been improper. I am still studying the hearing transcripts to find reference to the authority for the hearing. If anyone would like to help me look for that it would be appreciated.
So, what is the solution? We need a State Board of Elections that is elected like the Public Service Commission is.
(more to come the other solution I had in mind escapes me but I will post it later. )
LINK TO GEORGIA CODE Elections is Title 21 https://advance.lexis.com/container?config=00JAAzZDgzNzU2ZC05MDA0LTRmMDItYjkzMS0xOGY3MjE3OWNlODIKAFBvZENhdGFsb2fcIFfJnJ2IC8XZi1AYM4Ne&crid=559522f0-7fea-4213-b3e4-0268dd6fc670&prid=c2193f60-c4f7-428d-9084-fc4d57520b2c