Georgia voters have gained a national reputation in recent years for voting-related issues as they took part in the first day of voting in the state on Monday.
Interested voters waited six hours or more in Cobb County, once a Republican but voted for Democrats in the recent election and joined the line around the building in Democratic Decalub County. They have also been spotted in large numbers in Floyd County, North Georgia, where support for Donald Trump is strong.
At least two counties had problems with electronic pollbooks used to briefly check voters. The matter has been put on hold for a while at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. Voters who cast their ballots at the basketball stadium, which was used as the primary polling site, faced a long wait to resolve the issue.
Adrian Crowley, who waited more than an hour to vote, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that there was nothing that would force him off the voting line. “If I had voted all day.”
Elsewhere in Atlanta, some voters said they would wait more than 10 hours for the opportunity to cast their ballots early.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, voters have previously traveled in queues outside polling stations, some using their cellphone flashlights to help other voters fill out previous registration forms, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Jenin Aveler, Cobb County’s director of selection and registration, said the county has prepared as much as possible, “but there are lots of parking spaces, just rooms and lots of space in the parking lot.”
“We’re maximizing these two,” he said. “People have dual parking, we have gridlocks in our parking lots.”
In a suburban area northwest of Atlanta, hundreds of people slowly moved along a line that spread outside Kobe’s main election office. Some people said by 1pm that they had been waiting for six hours, and even seemed to be in a good mood. A short cheer arose when a pizza distributor brought a pie to someone in line.
Steve Davidson, who is Black, says the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis and others fought a long and hard battle to secure their place at the polls to leave him tired of the election.
“They have been fighting for decades. If I can wait six or seven hours, it is my responsibility to do so. I will do it with pleasure, ”Davidson said.
Georgia is the latest state to see a very long line on the first day of public voting. In states like Virginia and Ohio, election officials have also seen unprecedented voter turnout before voting in person early.
With record turnouts for this year’s presidential election and fears of coming into contact with the coronavirus, election officials and advocacy groups are encouraging people to vote early, either in person or through an absentee ballot.
Nationally, more than 9.4 million people have already voted, according to data collected by Michael MacDonald, a professor of political science at the University of Florida.
Democrats are vying for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia in a race where Democrat candidate John Osof is challenging incumbent Republican David Perdu.
Georgia has long been seen as a Republican base, but many believe recent population changes have made it a more competitive state. A recent survey found that Donald Trump and Joe Biden are in a statistical tie in the state.
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