The primary voting in Georgia on June 9 could be defined by one word, “catastrophe.” Plagued by long wait times and broken voting machines, the state made national news for its failures.
Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, called the problems “unacceptable.”
According to NBC, wait times in some parts of Atlanta and DeKalb County were up to seven hours.
The long waits were primarily in minority neighborhoods. In a Twitter thread from Atlanta Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, voters reported their experiences. Most complaints were about malfunctioning voting machines.
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? https://t.co/szO7srzpWs
— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) June 9, 2020
“In line since 6:30 a.m. at Fanplex in Summerhill with 300+ people and none of the voting machines are working. NONE,” one user wrote, “@GaSecofState this is widespread, this is criminal. And it’s under your watch.”
In line since 6:30am at Fanplex in #Summerhill with 300+ people and none of the voting machines are working. NONE. @GaSecofState this is widespread, this is criminal. And it’s under your watch. #GAPol #GAVote pic.twitter.com/ay9AhycIus
— Sabrina Gómez (@sabrihgomez) June 9, 2020
Raffensperger, a Republican, said in a statement, “My office has opened an investigation to determine what these counties need to do to resolve these issues before November’s election.”
This is the second time in recent history that an election in Georgia has been deemed controversial.
The 2018 Gubernatorial election between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp, who was Secretary of State at the time, was plagued by allegations of voter suppression. Kemp won the race by a thin margin and Abrams called the election, “rotten and rigged.” She went on to found Fair Fight-a political action committee dedicated to advocating for fair and free elections.
There was a lot at stake in yesterday’s election, including two Senate seats. However, experts are most concerned about resolving the problems before November’s presidential election.
Kristen Clarke, president and CEO of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said, “If we view the primary election as a dry run for November, then Georgia gets an F today.”
In a statement, David Ralston, the Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives said, “The legislative branch of government has an obligation to go beyond the mutual finger-pointing and get to the truth and the real reasons underlying these frustrations and concerns.”
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