After nearly an hour of debate on Tuesday, the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections decided not to conduct an optional internal audit of the county’s voting machines.

The proposed audit would have had board members manually count a random sample of ballot items from a random sample of precincts to verify that the county’s voting machines performed properly.

The decision came as voters headed to the polls following a hotly contested gubernatorial race in Georgia with several controversial voting issues. Most recently they included Republican candidate Brian Kemp’s allegations that the Democratic party attempted to hack Georgia’s voter registration system.

Board members also alluded to the fact that Kemp currently serves as Georgia’s secretary of state, with authority over the elections in which he is running. Many voters, they noted, have concerns about the integrity of Georgia’s elections, especially following reports on Tuesday of long lines and broken voting machines in some parts of the state.

“I would hate to miss an opportunity to help the voters feel more confident” in the voting process and election results, said Jesse Evans, the board member who made the…


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