The state of Georgia seems to have learned nothing from its deeply-flawed gubernatorial election in 2018 that prevented voters (opens in new tab) from casting ballots across the state. Voting problems are now rampant once again on June 9, 2020, where people in the Atlanta area have been waiting in lines for hours to cast their ballot for Georgia's 2020 presidential primary election.
Malfunctioning voter machines (opens in new tab) in multiple parts of the state have been reported since early this morning, prompting voters to stand in line for hours without a guarantee that they'll even be able to cast their vote. The state is blaming poll workers' fear of COVID-19 and inability to work new voting machines after phasing out paperless machines.
BREAKING NEWS: Voters outraged because they can’t vote. @cbs46 Voting machines are down & systems aren’t working all over #Atlanta Some people have left the polls because the line has NOT moved since 6 A.M. pic.twitter.com/QfJ8fxz5TQJune 9, 2020
Big voting problems in Georgia today. Long lines, broken voting machines, not enough poll workersAfter epidemic of voter suppression in 2018 it's happening again https://t.co/VbslPoU1vaJune 9, 2020
"We have reports of poll workers not understanding setup or how to operate voting equipment,” Jordan Fuchs, the deputy secretary of state, told The New York Times (opens in new tab). "While these are unfortunate, they are not issues of the equipment but a function of counties engaging in poor planning, limited training, and failures of leadership."
Voters are outraged about their inability to exercise their civic duty, and now Georgia officials are reportedly investigating (opens in new tab) what went wrong. Former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has called on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to fix the problem.
"Georgians deserve better. I voted today bc of absentee ballot defects. From Jasper to Fulton to Coffee & Chatham, long lines, inoperable machines & under-resourced communities are being hurt. @GaSecofState owns this disaster. He must stop finger-pointing and fix it. #gapol."
Georgians deserve better. I voted today bc of absentee ballot defects. From Jasper to Fulton to Coffee & Chatham, long lines, inoperable machines & under-resourced communities are being hurt. @GaSecofState owns this disaster. He must stop finger-pointing and fix it. #gapolJune 9, 2020
If you believe you have been a target of voter suppression, you can call the Election Protection Hotline (opens in new tab) at 866-OUR-VOTE. You can also get involved with Fair Fight (opens in new tab) to help advocate for free and fair elections.
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Rachel Epstein is an editor at Marie Claire, where she writes and edits culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also manages the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game, finding a new coffee shop, or analyzing your cousin's birth chart—in no particular order.
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