For the second time this year, Georgia voters are having trouble at the polls. It has become a yearly occurrence for photos and videos to emerge from Georgia showing absurdly long lines at polling stations and curious reports of broken machines or purged voter rolls only found in majority-Black counties. 

But on Monday, those same reports emerged on the first day of in-person voting for the upcoming November 3 election. Hundreds of people took to social media to show that they had spent literally the entire day standing in line waiting to vote.

The New York Times reported that about 126,000 people had voted on Monday in the state, setting a new record.

A spokesman for Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, told the newspaper that 1,602,352 people had applied for absentee ballots but just 439,018 of those requests were accepted. They did not explain why the other 1.2 million requests have not been approved.

Across the state, reports emerged of glitches and disruptions to the system. At State Farm Arena in Atlanta, there were problems with electronic equipment that caused lengthy lines and complaints from people waiting. 

“We’ve seen over 10 counties where this is happening,” Aklima Khondoker, the Georgia director for All Voting Is Local, told the New York Times.

The Washington Post found that the longest lines were seen in Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah and Macon, Democratic strongholds and areas with large Black populations. Multiple voters told the newspaper that the lines only began to decrease when people gave up and left without voting at all. The problem was so bad that disaster organizations began handing out food to people who had been waiting in long poll station lines for hours. 

PBS noted that many of the people who showed up on the first day did so because of the problems and long lines in predominantly Black communities of Metro Atlanta that occurred during the June 9 primary elections. 

Despite the outrageous videos and photos emerging from Georgia, white critics across the country painted the long waits as a good sign for overall turnout numbers and lauded Black voters for their "resilience." But Black voters had a very different view of the situation.

Here is what some Georgia voters had to say:

Famous songwriter Johnta Austin shared a video of himself with dozens of other Black people, writing that they had spent 11 hours in line waiting to vote. 

And he wasn't the only one. 

Some had to take videos because photos could not capture how long the voting lines were. 

Like many of the other videos of Black people spending all day in line waiting to vote, white reporters often tagged them with notes that they were "inspiring" and "heroes."

A number of people were astonished that Georgia election officials would let something like this happen again after the exact same issues were reported in June when primary elections were held. 

Some began to speak out about the long lines and the general media response.

People were on lines so long that World Central Kitchen decided to jump in an provide food for those who had been waiting for hours. 

They ended up serving food for nearly the entire day. 

Officials in Georgia dowplayed the long lines and disputed assertions that it was an attempt at voter suppression. 

In an interview with WSB-TV, Gabriel Sterling with Secretary of State’s Office compared the long lines to "when Apple releases a new phone."

"If you show up the first day, you’re going to wait in line a minute,” Sterling said.

But voters interpreted the lines differently. Many of those who spoke to WSB-TV said they either did not trust Republican state leaders to count votes sent in through the mail and Sterling himself admitted that some of the lines were caused by malfunctioning equipment at voting centers. 

NBC reported that a study done last year by the University of California, Los Angeles, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Chicago found that people living in Black neighborhoods waited nearly 30% longer to vote and were almost 75% more likely to have to spend more than 30 minutes on voting. 

Another study from 2017 showed that non-white voters are seven times more likely to wait for more than an hour to vote compared to white voters, and Stephen Pettigrew of the University of Pennsylvania said this was because polling offices in white areas generally get more resources. 

Willlie Purcell of Macon, Georgia, told PBS that he decided to come vote before election day because of the state's long history of intentionally keeping Black voters away. 

“My intention was to be here when the door opens this morning, because there’s constant voter suppression that I am not going to stand for — and I am rallying everybody that’s in my family; my kids that are eligible to vote, I got them coming as well," Purcell said.

"If I have to pick them up and take them myself, I’ll even volunteer to drive people who don’t have a car. Whatever it takes to get people out to vote, that’s what I’m going to do.”