Voter Suppression Accusations Are Swirling About Georgia Again After Hours-long Waits On First Day Of Early Voting
White critics have tried to paint the situation as normal despite voter complaints of waits up to 10 hours.
October 13, 2020 at 1:46 pm
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.
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.
While early voting is going well overall, we are experiencing technical issues at @StateFarmArena that are causing delays in voting at that location. We apologize for the inconvenience. Technicians are onsite to help address the issue. Thank you for your patience.
— FultonCountyGeorgia (@FultonInfo) October 12, 2020
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: