Political Notes – A bipartisan request for new voting machines

[private]State Reps. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta) and Scot Turner (R-Holly Springs) have written a joint letter to Gov. Nathan Deal asking him to put money in the new budget to buy a new generation of voting machines for Georgia.

They estimate the cost at $21 million for 4,200 machines

Georgia has been using direct recording electronic (DRE) machines since 2002. The machines are widely thought to be out of date; Turner and Holcomb say the machines are too susceptible to hacking to be used anymore.

“States are largely abandoning DREs in favor of some form of paper and pencil method with the use of optical scanner technology,” they write. “Georgia is one of only five remaining states that exclusively use DRE machines.”

They are requesting $25 million to $35 million in the budget to cover the cost of a complete switchout.

CHIP in danger

One of the under-reported stories out of Washington is that the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), operating in Georgia as PeachCare, was not renewed by its deadline date of Sept. 30.

Non-renewal could mean the end of coverage for an estimated nine million kids.

A Senate committee did pass out a bill this week that would continue the CHIP program for five more years, but it still needs approval by the full Senate and House.

Sen. Johnny Isakson also wants the Senate to approve an extension of federal DISH payments to safety-net hospitals at the current level so that the payments are not reduced.

“In Georgia, that’s going to be a loss of $780 million over seven years to our most needy hospitals,” Isakson said. “It’s going to mean people most in need of health care are not going to have it there.”

Ralston appointments

House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) has appointed the following members to the Career and Technical Education Advisory Commission: Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) – Co-Chair, and Reps. Amy Carter (R-Valdosta), Randy Nix (R-LaGrange), and Trey Rhodes (R-Greensboro).

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: David Ralston , PeachCare , Scot Turner , Scott Holcomb , voting machines