Long lines, lack of voting machines frustrate voters during Georgia’s primary election

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Voters in several Georgia counties experienced long lines and frustrations on Tuesday as the state held primary elections, with at least one precinct reportedly going hours without any voting machines.

State leaders voiced their concerns about irregularities in two counties, Dekalb and Gwinnett, on social media and in comments to the press while voters raised their own issues experienced at the voting booth.

“Now being told line is out to the street at Sandtown Recreation Center and their machines are not working either @gasecofstate. Is this happening across the county or just on the south end?” tweeted Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D). 

“[V]oters in line at Ralph Bunche precinct, one of the largest in Atlanta, say NONE of the machines are working,” she added in another tweet.

Nikema Williams, state leader of the Georgia Democratic Party, told The New York Times that her phone was flooded with texts shortly after the polls opened Tuesday morning by voters reporting issues at their precincts.

“It’s a hot mess,” she told the newspaper. “How do you not have a voting machine?”

Goldie Taylor, an editor-at-large for The Daily Beast, tweeted that her voting machine at a precinct in Georgia’s 5th Congressional District erroneously did not show the House election for that district, in which Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is facing Barrington Martin II (D) in Tuesday’s primary.

A request for comment from Georgia’s Department of State, which handles elections statewide, was not immediately returned.

In a statement to The Washington Post, deputy secretary of state Jordan Fuchs blamed the issues on local leadership.

“There is nothing the secretary of state could have done to prevent this,” said Fuchs. “This is the singular failure of poor planning at the local level.

“This is a training issue at the local level,” Fuchs continued. “Our office does not have the authority or power to run elections. They had all the information they needed.”

Georgia was previously the site of controversy over voting irregularities in 2018 when Gov. Brian Kemp (R) was declared the victor in the gubernatorial race over former state Senate leader Stacey Abrams (D), who declined to formally concede citing alleged voter suppression efforts.

Tags 2020 election 2020 election interference Atlanta Atlanta Brian Kemp Electronic voting Georgia Georgia primary election John Lewis Keisha Lance Bottoms Stacey Abrams voter fraud

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