The University of Georgia is receiving waves of criticism after canceling on-campus voting due to concerns about COVID-19 just weeks after it decided to ignore the state's rising infection rate and restart college football, CNN reported

After 24 hours of relentless bashing from people online, the university backed off of their decision and said officials had spoken with the Georgia secretary of state's office on Thursday about using a facility for on-campus voting, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

The situation started with a statement from the school on Twitter, stating it would be canceling on-campus voting due to "concerns about long voting lines and insufficient indoor space required to maintain social distancing."

Anticipating the backlash, the school defended its decision based on COVID-19 but ignored the virus' effects as a reason to not suspend college football.

There has been widespread debate about whether college football should be played this year, but due to political pressure, almost every conference has decided to resume the season, the Tennessean reported. Despite some schools refusing to allow people in the stadium to watch the games, the University of Georiga is allowing fans in the stands.

"Those comparing this matter to a football game should be able to recognize that football games will be played outdoors but we will still require social distancing by substantially reducing capacity in the stadium," the school wrote in a statement on Twitter.

"We have eliminated tailgating as well due to a desire to keep the campus as safe as possible and limit visitors during the pandemic. students will still be able to vote at other locations, including one in downtown Athens, to which the University will provide a shuttle service for student voters," the school added.

The post set off a deluge of outrage, with many calling it a blatant attempt at voter suppression.  

Some called out the school for trying to justify their decision.

Eventually, the university took to Twitter again to say it would offer up a number of locations to the schools nearly 40,000 students to vote.

— UGA (@universityofga) September 17, 2020

People called out the university for making it more difficult for students to vote, tying it to the numerous instances of voter suppression that have taken place during the Georgia elections in both 2016 and 2018.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp won the gubernatorial race against Stacey Abrams by nearly 55,000 votes in 2018 but as secretary of state, he led the effort to purge about 8% of registered voters in a single day, according to official Georgia election results.

Despite calls for him to recuse himself from overseeing his own election, he refused and spearheaded dozens of efforts that proved to be pivotal in his own gubernatorial win. 

Additionally, 53,000 voter applications, which were predominately Black, were sitting on hold with his office, the AP reported

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution later reported that the closed precincts may have resulted in 54,000 to 85,000 voters not voting at all on election day.

In June, many of the same examples of voter suppression played out again, with Black voters reporting lengthy lines and voting machines that did not work, according to The New York Times.