Secretary Raffensperger Taps Veteran Media Pro to Educate Voters

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Tuesday he has hired a long-time media professional to head the effort to educate Georgians about the state’s new voting technology and its added security features.

For nearly two decades, Walter C. Jones wrote for newspapers across the state in reporting on state government for the Morris News Service where he was the director. In that role, he was often interviewed by radio and television about his observations and asked to moderate political discussions.

Recently, he was publisher of the Newnan Times-Herald until joining the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services in 2017 as Senior Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs.

"Having someone with Walter's experience and many connections across the state is critical to our goal of ensuring that voters learn about the new election system and understand its integrity," Raffensperger said. "Walter has made a career of asking tough questions and reporting the facts straight down the line. That approach will benefit all Georgia voters."

Raffensperger's office is rolling out the latest version of touch-screen voting machines to every precinct in the state. The system replaces the 17-year-old machines that have become so popular with voters.

The new system has several added features that make it more secure, including a paper ballot so voters can review their choices before casting it. The paper ballots will also allow audits to verify the accuracy of the machines counting the votes.

The system is being tested in a handful of municipal elections this fall. Every county will use them beginning with the presidential preference primary next March.

Jones began his journalism career at WGRI-AM in his hometown of Griffin, Ga., when he became the state's youngest news director while still in high school. His work has been recognized by the Associated Press, the Georgia Press Association and other organizations. He was active with the Atlanta Press Club, especially its live television debates, and he has served as the club's president.

He and his wife Linda reside in Newnan where he is on the board of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. He is an Eagle Scout, a scuba diver and holds a general amateur-radio license.