It was a bumpy primary election day in the U.S. state of Georgia on Tuesday.
The state’s primary had been postponed twice because of the coronavirus pandemic. Election day saw long lines of voters waiting in the summer heat for hours prompting some precincts to extend hours. There were also issues reported with voting machines and inadequate planning.
State election officials have called for investigations citing inexperienced election workers and on-going concern with COVID-19 precautions. The issues have many wondering if the state will be ready in time for the November presidential election.
“I’m hearing that equipment was delivered late. Some of it’s not charged up. The voter, the check-in folks aren’t really clear about what to do. …the majority of folks I heard had applied for an absentee ballot and it was never processed,” said Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann. “I don’t really have an answer for why that happened, it’s very disappointing.”
According to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, more than 1.5 million voters requested absentee ballots. Many voters said they never received them.
Many Democrats blamed Raffensperger, a Republican, for the voting chaos.
State Speaker David Ralston said in a statement, “The sanctity of our elections — being free and fair — is the very foundation of our system of government. Our elections must be efficient and voters must be confident that their votes will be properly counted.”
Georgia invested more than $100 million to replace its old voting equipment with new touch-screen machines to improve the process.