Cochran-Johnson sets Feb. 5 town hall: new voting machines, panel to provide critical updates

December 19, 20193min3230
Lorraine Cochran-Johnson

The state of Georgia is replacing all voting machines by the March 24 presidential primary with a new voting system. In the wake of this change, DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson wants to ensure all DeKalb residents experience how to use the new voting machine and have the opportunity to check their voting status.

Cochran-Johnson is hosting a town hall meeting for the public on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 6 to 8 p.m., at Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. Citizens will have a chance to try out the machines ahead of the town hall, from 4 to 6 p.m., and receive other pertinent information concerning the 2020 voting process.

The Georgia Secretary of State this week removed 313,000 registered voters it classified as “inactive” from the voting rolls after failing to confirm or update their information within 30 days of being notified. Fair Fight Action is challenging the removals of about 120,000 voters who were removed due to inactivity since the 2012 presidential elections, saying that citizens have the right, under the First Amendment, to vote or not.

Cochran-Johnson said the town hall will give residents access to their voting status, the ability to register to vote, and the opportunity to speak with state and local election officials to answer questions pertinent to voting in the approaching primaries.

“Understanding the voter purge, I want to get an early start on checking the voter status of DeKalb residents,” Cochran-Johnson said. “…2020 will be a critical year on the local, state, and national level. Many Americans want change and need to know their voice and their vote will be heard. As an elected official, I am here to work with our local voting office to ensure we have the most efficient practices and procedures in place and all poll workers are fully trained and understand voting procedures.”

Town hall panel members will include Ted Koval, Georgia Secretary of State Office; Samuel Tillman and Anthony Lewis, DeKalb Board of Registrations and Elections; Leona Perry, of the DeKalb Democrats; Thomas Bowden, Esq., DeKalb Republicans; and Erica Hamilton, director of the DeKalb Voter Registration and Elections. Panel members and voting officials will be on hand to discuss voting practices, absentee voting procedures, ballot processing times, provisional ballots, how to encourage voter participation and standard voting procedures.

“We look forward to the opportunity to engage DeKalb’s voting electorate and share information and best practices to ensure all DeKalb residents are confident as we approach 2020,” Hamilton said.

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