Paper ballots used in Ocilla (GA)
WALB News 10. November 4, 2009. By Stephanie Springer
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - While we're accustomed to using electronic voting in state elections, it's not required for municipal elections, and small towns often resort to the age-old way of choosing leaders plain ole pencil and paper.
That's what they did in Ocilla yesterday and tonight, some voters and candidates say it's time to step into the future.
For years, folks in Ocilla have known only one way to cast a vote. In city elections, they always use pencil and paper.
"That's the only way we've ever done it is paper ballots," said Alicia Roberts, Ocilla City clerk.
And with only around 1,500 registered voters, voting officials say voting this way is easier than fooling with machines.
"I think its very accurate because we've got the evidence and its real easy to chose who to vote for," said Roberts.
But not everyone is pleased with the way voting is handled in Ocilla.
30 year old Chad Williamson says he is ready for a change, and the first one he wants to make is the way residents vote.
"I'm happy to lose I just want to make sure it is fair in the way that I lost," said Williamson.
Williamson just lost the election to incumbent mayor Lamar Royal . He says using electronic voting machines would leave no room for questions in the future.
"I think everything needs to be electronic I mean that is where everyone else is other municipalities even Irwin county here is electronic," said Williamson.
But in the meantime, folks in Ocilla will keep doing the same thing they've been doing for years counting handwritten ballots one by one.
Because of such a low voter turnout last night it only took them about 40 minutes to tally up a little over 300 votes.
City voting officials say they hire a part time election supervisor for city elections.