Voters at multiple polling places in Gwinnett County, Georgia — the second-most populous county in the state — were unable to vote on faulty voting machines.
Elsewhere in Georgia, primarily in populated places in the Atlanta area, voting machines are also reportedly displaying false information about voters. And in some crowded precincts, there are far too few voting machines to accommodate everyone who showed up.
On Tuesday morning, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed that at least three voting precincts in Gwinnett County, which houses over 920,000 people according to Census records, reported that their voting machines were shut down, and voters were being given paper ballots instead.
This poll watcher is giving voters instructions about the paper ballots after ALL OF THE MACHINES went down at the Annistown Elementary polling location in Gwinnett County. @wsbtv #Election2018 #ElectionOn2 pic.twitter.com/madEuxx9QE
— Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) November 6, 2018
The Journal-Constitution reported that the issues were fixed prior to 10 AM local time, but not before voters with busy schedules left the polling place without voting, according to reports on social media. Georgia voter Terri Durham tweeted that, at her local precinct, people waited hours for the voting machines to work, and hundreds of voters walked away without casting their ballot.
Here in GA, where kemp wouldn’t step down, not a single machine in our precinct works. No one has voted since 7am. Hundreds of ppl have left
— Terri Durham (@Teedurful) November 6, 2018
Intercept columnist Shaun King also tweeted out a report a voter in DeKalb County posted to Facebook, in which the voting machines at the Avondale High School precinct (where Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was valedictorian) incorrectly listed some voters as not registered or as someone who had already cast a ballot.
ABC tweeted photos of lines at precincts so long they stretched into parking garages. And for at least one polling place in Southwest Atlanta (Fulton County), there were only a few voting machines available despite a long line of hundreds of voters. And in at least one instance the morning of the election, a polling placed was moved a 40-minute walk away from the previous polling place.
Some foolishnsss already happening in Georgia.
If anything like this happens to you immediately call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. pic.twitter.com/sTFCvGUb8B
— Shaun King (@shaunking) November 6, 2018
Ready to wait? Hundreds of voters stand in line for hours this morning at this SW Atlanta polling place. Only three voting machines! What’s going on here? Live report at noon. pic.twitter.com/lewTPUZnf1
— Tom Regan (@tomreganWSB) November 6, 2018
— ABC News (@ABC) November 6, 2018
In Snellville, a city in Gwinnett County, the line at the Anderson-Livesy Middle School precinct (where voters had to vote on paper ballots due to faulty machines) was so long that one voter compared it to waiting in line at a Six Flags amusement park. A video posted to Twitter by Journal-Constitution reporter Amanda Coyne showed that the line stretched around the entirety of the school building.
The line to vote at Anderson-Livesy Middle School in Snellvillle off Centerville Highway stretches the length of the school.
“It’s like waiting on line at Six Flags,” one voter said pic.twitter.com/dPivZjYq66
— Amanda Coyne (@AmandaCCoyne) November 6, 2018
Georgia is home to perhaps the most hotly contested gubernatorial race in the U.S., with House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams facing off against Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is also overseeing the election in which he is on the ballot. Despite Kemp improperly purging at least 340,000 voters from the rolls prior to the election, more than two million Georgians voted prior to Tuesday — more than doubling the previous early voting record for midterm elections.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.