Confidence Prevails in Georgia’s Voting System
A public bipartisan panel addressed Are Our Elections Safe? in Langdale Hall in the Political Science Department at Georgia State University on Oct. 25.
“Election fraud occurs very rarely in the U.S.,” said Dr. Carrie Manning, chair of Georgia State Political Science, who moderated the panel.
WHO MONITORS POLLS ON ELECTION DAY?
Two international election observer organizations will be in place in the U.S. on Nov. 8 during voting — the Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe and the Organization of American States, said Avery Davis-Roberts who is associate director of the Carter Center Democracy Program.
Also Election Protection, a non-profit organization that fields election monitors will be outside polling locations. “Election Protection supports voters and tracks and alerts election authorities to problems such as extra-long lines or campaigning inside the 150’ limit or intimidation of voters,” said Page Gleason, executive director of Pro-Georgia.
All panelists have confidence in Georgia’s voting system, but noted that voting machines are aging. “The voting machines are getting old and will need to be replaced in near future,” said Michael Jablonski, general counsel for the Georgia Democratic Party. Ray Smith, deputy election counsel and statewide poll watcher for the Georgia Republican Party, said he trusts the machines and agrees they are aging.
ELECTION FRAUD or IRREGULARITIES?
“Fraud is the intentional and systematic attempt to influence an election in favor of or to the detriment of one candidate or party. This is rare in the U.S.,” said Dr. McCoy, a Distinguished University of Professor of GSU Political Science and organizer of the event.
“Irregularities occur often and randomly affect all political parties. These can include some dead voters still on the voter rolls; people left off the voter registration list, who should vote with a provisional ballot; and machines that break down and cause long lines,” added Dr. McCoy.
HOW CAN STUDENTS GET INVOLVED?
Students are encouraged to sign up in the future in three capacities — to be party poll-watchers inside voting places and non-partisan monitors outside. Especially needed are volunteer poll-workers to train to replace the aging volunteers in an increasingly high-tech election world.
See more election news here in Everything Election 2016