Bryan County Elections Supervisor Cindy Reynolds said a voting machine that caused issues this week was taken off line and will not be used again, but that it also worked as intended and prevented a voter from casting an improper ballot.
“Each DRE (Direct Recording Equipment) presents a summary screen so that voters may review their selections to ensure that their ballots are cast for the candidate of their choice,” Reynolds said in a prepared statement. “In this instance, the summary screen worked as designed. The voter was presented with a screen which did not accurately reflect their choice and as such it allowed the voter to make the corrections to ensure that their vote was accurately cast.”
The issue drew national attention after a voter here contacted the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to report “it took three tries Tuesday on a machine at the county’s administration complex in Richmond Hill before it correctly recorded his choice of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.”
The story, which was the most read story on the AJC’s website Thursday night, has since been picked up by ABC News.
“We do not know what caused the initial voting issue,” Reynolds said. “The machine was taken off line. A precautionary measure in keeping with state guidelines.”
The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office told the AJC it had opened an investigation into the matter and a spokesman claimed “It appears with this particular machine that the county did not property conduct logic and accuracy testing on this unit.”
Bryan County rejects that claim.
“The DRE used by the board of elections were correctly calibrated prior to this election cycle, as they are prior to each and every election as required by the Georgia Secretary of State,” Reynolds said. “All machines used were tested and passed the required testing.”
Reynolds told the AJC that at least 20 people had used the machine Tuesday before the incident and no problems were reported.
“Bryan County maintains a qualified group of employees and nonpartisan volunteers who are trained and experienced in assisting voters,” Reynolds said in her statement. “This incident has been the only reported event during the early voting cycle in Bryan County which has seen much higher turnout than previous elections. Having your ballot count as you voted is our primary goal and our training, procedures and dedicated staff are all aligned with that goal.”