Georgia House lawmakers approved using new electronic touchscreen voting machines that print a paper ballot by 2020, a big step toward replacing an outdated system that offered no verifiable paper trail.

The proposal disregards cybersecurity experts who say hand-marked paper ballots are more secure.

The bill passed Tuesday, largely along partisan lines with Republicans in support. It now awaits Senate consideration.

Rep. Robert Trammell, D- Luthersville, house minority leader, who prefers paper ballots marked in with a pen, speaks about House Bill 316 during the House Governmental Affairs Committee, Thursday, Feb. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Rep. Robert Trammell, D- Luthersville, house minority leader, who prefers paper ballots marked in with a pen, speaks about House Bill 316 during the House Governmental Affairs Committee, Thursday, Feb. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

The vote comes months after a contentious race for governor between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp, who won.

The proposed system would include touchscreens where voters make their selections, then print a paper ballot that’s counted after being scanned.

Republican Rep. Barry Fleming says it’s the only system that won’t force disabled voters to use a different method.

Democrats say the system can’t be meaningfully audited and will further erode voter confidence.

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