The Secretary of State’s office needs to be completely open and transparent about everything that went wrong with the state’s new paper ballot machines during the Tuesday trial run. The state must also be just as open and transparent about what is being done to fix the snafus. 

In at least one county — Lowndes — the elections office had to rely on the bar-coded paper ballots because of something that did not work correctly. 

Was this all human error?

Then tell the public. 

Was this a problem with the software? 

Then tell the public.

Was it a hardware problem?

Then tell the public.

The people of Georgia paid more than $100 million for this new voting system and the people of Georgia have every right to know everything that went wrong and what is being done about it.  

In addition to the issues in Lowndes, there were other problems at polling places in Carroll, Paulding and Bartow counties.

Apparently it was necessary to call in KnowInk technicians because of software programming issues with the Poll Pads used to check voters in at the precincts. 

This Dominion Voting System is supposed to be the latest, greatest and was ostensibly researched and fully vetted before this live launch on Election Day. 

The $107 million Dominion Voting System did not function properly despite the fact that representatives from the Secretary of State’s office said in media interviews the launch was smooth and successful. 

Then why was it necessary to call in technicians and count paper ballots? 

Why were election results delayed by hours? 

There are 11,000 new machines waiting to be rolled out for the presidential primary in March. 

Will Georgia be ready? 

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger should not try to pass off the problems that occurred Tuesday evening as being minor and insignificant. 

Government should never try to “spin” the facts or re-frame the public conversation to make things look better for political reasons. 

What happened, happened. And it must be fixed. 

While addressing the issue head-on is of utmost importance, it is also extremely important to be upfront with the people of Georgia and to keep the public fully informed. 

Everyone in Georgia should know that their votes counts, and that their vote will be counted.

CNHI Deputy National Editor Jim Zachary is the vice president of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation and editor of The Valdosta Daily Times.

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