Georgia voters wait hours after county mistakenly installs only three machines at polling site

Many voters in Fulton County, Georgia, were forced to wait hours to cast their ballots on Election Day at a polling site in Atlanta after the county mistakenly installed only three voting machines.

County Elections Director Rick Barron said at a press conference on Tuesday that part of the reason voters had to wait in long lines at the Pittman Park Recreation Center on Election Day was because too few machines were sent to the polling location, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Only three machines were installed.

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Barron said during the press conference that election staffers entered the wrong registration number into the assignment and that there is supposed to be one voting machine to every 350 voters registered in that precinct.

Fulton County covers part of downtown Atlanta. According to a government watchdog, the average wait time to vote in the Atlanta metro area on Election Day is three hours.

“I just want to tell the voters there that on behalf of me and my staff, we’re sorry for the mix-up,” Barron said.

Barron said that the county was sending five more voting machines to the polling site and added that he hopes voters who left the polling site due to the long wait time return.

Rev. Jesse Jackson called the mishap “a classic example of voter suppression” in a statement on Facebook and went to the precinct, after the issue began to prompt outrage on social media, to encourage voters to stay.

“It’s a classic example of voter suppression, denying people easy access to exercise their right to vote,” Jackson said in the statement. “But today, the people said we will not be deterred.”

The reports of delays around Atlanta come on a day that will decide the state's closely watched governor race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R).