FILE - This May 22, 2018, file photo, shows a voter access card inserted in a reader during voting in the Georgia primary in Kennesaw, Ga. A federal judge has ordered Georgia to stop using its outdated voting machines after 2019. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, issued the order after voting integrity advocates and individual voters asked her to order the state to immediately switch to hand-marked paper ballots. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)

Judge orders paper ballot contingency plan for Georgia

August 16, 2019 - 1:03 am

ATLANTA (AP) — If Georgia election officials fail to meet the tight timeline they've set to implement an entirely new voting system, they'll have to quickly pivot to hand-marked paper ballots for the March presidential primaries.

That's according to a Thursday ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said the state's new voting system will be in place for the March 24 primaries.

The ruling means the state can keep its plans to use the old system for special and municipal elections this fall.

Voting integrity advocates and individual voters had asked Totenberg to order an immediate switch to hand-marked paper ballots.

She declined, citing concerns about the state's capacity to make an interim switch to hand-marked paper ballots while working to implement a new system.

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