Early voting in Georgia: Long lines, technical problems face voters

Early voting in Georgia: Long lines, technical problems face voters

By 8 a.m., hundreds of Atlanta-area voters - standing six feet (1.83 m) apart - had joined Franklin outside the arena in the heart of Georgia's Fulton County, with almost 800,000 registered voters, more than any other in the state.

With photos and videos of long lines Monday posted by news outlets and circulating widely on social media, some election integrity advocates and elected officials said it was evidence of voter suppression and called on election officials to take steps to take immediate action.

That was renewed in June when the state's primary election was marred by long lines caused by equipment problems and high turnout, as well as coronavirus-related consolidations of polling places and shortages of poll workers.

In a sign of the enthusiasm, voters in Gwinnett County, northeast of Atlanta, began queuing up as early as 4 a.m. - three hours before the polls opened Monday, and an unusually early start, officials said. Why do Americans have to wait in lines this long? There are worse things.

Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins said the morning had brought a couple of hiccups, including a scanning machine issue at Wellington Elementary that was quickly resolved. "And everybody is appropriately socially distanced", she said. There were some early hiccups reported, including glitches that slowed down voting at one supersite in Atlanta.

Rawlings, a Democrat, said she was motivated by the "coarseness" of President Donald Trump's language and his seeming lack of respect for other branches of government and world leaders: "It's gotta end".

I scanned in my ballot, and five minutes later, was out in the hallway talking to poll worker Paul Louallen.

"I just wanted to be absolutely sure I voted early to be sure my vote was counted", said Holly James, who waited about 45 minutes.

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Cuyahoga County voters lined up outside the board of elections, stretching down Euclid Avenue and East 30th Street.

Lengthy lines were also reported at polling sites in south and eastern parts of the county.

In Fulton County, the state's most populous county, close to 20,000 people voted in person on Monday, second only to the last day of early voting in 2016, when about 26,000 voted, county elections director Rick Barron told reporters.

"I've had trouble with the mail lately and I like voting in person", said Barbara Lander. People stood 6 feet apart and wore masks, Clark said.

"It seems to be going smoothly", Clark said.

With Georgia emerging as a battleground, both the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns sent surrogates to the state Monday.

Jill Biden, wife of former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, planned to appear in DeKalb County with prominent state Democrats before traveling to Columbus to meet with military and veteran families.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. was set to rally Republican voters in Savannah near the coast and Kennesaw, just outside Atlanta.

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