- Leah Millis/Reuters
- Georgia voters on Tuesday contended with long lines and malfunctioning voter machines in a state facing one of the most hotly contested gubernatorial races in the country.
- Some voters reportedly had to wait several hours to cast their ballots.
- The apparent disorganization at Georgia polling places on Election Day comes after weeks of complaints of voter suppression directed at Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp.
- Voters in other states including New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee also faced technical issues and delays at the polls on Tuesday.
Georgia voters participating in the 2018 midterms on Tuesday contended with long lines and malfunctioning voter machines in a state facing one of the most hotly contested gubernatorial races in the country.
Voters in some precincts reportedly had to wait up to three hours to cast their ballots.
At a polling place in Snellville, Georgia, voters reportedly took turns sitting in children’s chairs and on the floor during the tedious wait to exercise their civic duty. Part of the problem was a lack of power cords f0r the voting machines, Gwinnett County director of communications Joe Sorenson told NBC News.
The line to vote at Anderson-Livesy Middle School in Snellvillle off Centerville Highway stretches the length of the school.
“It’s like waiting on line at Six Flags,” one voter said pic.twitter.com/dPivZjYq66
— Amanda Coyne (@AmandaCCoyne) November 6, 2018
— Aungelique Proctor (@aungeliquefox5) November 6, 2018
Several polling places in Gwinnett County faced technical difficulties that led to delays on Tuesday, and at least one location will be open to voters later than usual as a consequence, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
This apparent disorganization at Georgia polling places on Election Day comes after weeks of complaints of voter suppression directed at Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp.
Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state, is in charge of overseeing the state’s elections. Democrats have accused him of deliberately working to disenfranchise voters as he goes up against Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, who would be the first African-American female governor in US history if she wins on Tuesday.
53,000 voter registrations were placed on hold by Kemp’s office due to the state’s “exact-match” system, which can cause registrations to be stalled over minor discrepancies. Of the applications on hold, 70% were reportedly filed by black voters.
Kemp’s office has also cancelled over 1.4 million voter registrations since 2012, including approximately 670,000 in 2017 alone. Kemp has repeatedly insisted this purge was an effort to thwart voter fraud, and said many of the registrations he cancelled were people who had moved to another state or country.
In recent days, Kemp has accused Democrats of attempting to hack the state’s voter registration system, but provided no evidence.
In part because of the voter registration controversy – but also due to Abrams’ chance to make history – the Georgia gubernatorial race has received widespread national attention.
Kemp on Tuesday sounded satisfied with how things were running on Election Day, despite apparent issues in certain parts of the state. “It’s been very smooth all day long,” he told reporters. “We’re getting the normal questions of people calling, asking where do they go vote, are they registered. Nothing unusual at all.”
Georgia’s problems on Election Day were not an isolated phenomenon. Voters in other states including New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee also faced technical issues and delays at the polls on Tuesday.