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The Latest: GA Senate committee approves new voting machines

March 6, 2019
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FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2019 file photo, Gov. Brian Kemp addresses the 2019 Season Joint Budget hearings in Atlanta. In letters dated Wednesday, March 6, 2019, a U.S. House committee is seeking a trove of information from Georgia’s governor and secretary of state as it investigates reports of voter registration problems and other issues reported during the state’s 2018 elections. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on Georgia’s election system (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

A wide-ranging elections bill that moves Georgia to new touchscreen voting machines that print paper ballots could soon see a final vote in the state Senate, after it got the green light from a committee.

The Senate Ethics Committee approved the legislation Wednesday by a party-line, 7-5 vote, with Republicans in support.

Many Democrats want hand-marked paper ballots, which cybersecurity experts say are cheaper and more secure.

The legislation would also tweak the state’s strict standard for verifying voter registrations and clarify when polling places can be closed or moved. Those measures were proposed earlier by Democrats.

The committee’s approval came the same day a U.S. House committee requested a trove of information from Georgia’s governor and secretary of state as it investigates reports of problems during the state’s 2018 elections.

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1:15 p.m.

A U.S. House committee is seeking a trove of information from Georgia’s governor and secretary of state as it investigates reports of voter registration problems and other issues in the state’s 2018 elections.

In letters dated Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform tells Georgia’s new Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that it’s “investigating recent reports of serious problems with voter registration, voter access and other matters affecting the ability of people in Georgia to exercise their right to vote.”

The letters ask both men for extensive information concerning those allegations.

The committee is now Democrat-controlled. Kemp and Raffensperger are Republicans.

Kemp served as secretary of state while he ran for governor. Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams has alleged he mismanaged the election, which Kemp denies.