Hundreds of voting machines sat unused in Georgia as voters waited on long lines: report

Hundreds of voting machines sat unused in Georgia as voters waited on long lines: report
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Hundreds of voting machines sat locked in government warehouses over concerns that they were vulnerable to security breaches, while voters waited in long lines at polling stations in Georgia, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

According to the paper, a federal lawsuit led Atlanta officials to lock the electronic voting machines away out of concern that they could be tampered with or hacked.

A surge in turnout caught some officials by surprise and, with fewer voting machines, there were unusually long lines at some polling places.

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Voters in some counties covered by the lawsuit's jurisdiction - Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton - all suffered long delays, the paper reports.

Election officials told the Journal-Constitution that the lack of voting machines, high turnout, and complex constitutional amendments, slowed down lines significantly.

“We thought we had enough until turnout started expanding, and with the ballot being long and complicated, the time at the touchscreen was longer,” Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler told the paper. “We had voters who called and expressed their frustration.”

An attorney for Cobb and DeKalb counties told the paper that the machines' sequestration was a factor in the long lines Tuesday.

“The intent to protect elections by the other side might have had the opposite outcome,” the attorney, Daniel White, said. “That’s a lot of machines to have to hold out. It doesn’t leave a lot of margin.”

However, a spokesperson for DeKalb told The Hill that the issues did not prevent people from voting.

The Hill could not reach DeKalb, Cobb, or Fulton County for fuller comment on the effect of the long lines. 

About 1,050 voting machines were available in Cobb county for Tuesday's elections and roughly 550 were sequestered, according to the paper.

Eveler said the county could have deployed about 1,400 machines if they had been available.

700 machines weren't available in Fulton and 585 in Dekalb.

An attorney for some of the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit said it was the county's fault if too few machines were employed.

“No judge anywhere, at any time, has ever ordered Fulton County or any other county to set aside more machines than they said they could spare,” the attorney, Bruce Brown, said.

“No request was ever made by anyone to plaintiffs or the court suggesting that Fulton or anyone else needed more machines for this or any other election.”

Updated at 10:32 a.m.