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Georgia voters face long lines, malfunctioning voter machines

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Georgia midterm
Georgians
wait in line to cast their votes in the 2018 U.S. midterm
election at a Gwinnett County polling place in Annistown
Elementary School in Snellville, Georgia.

Leah Millis/Reuters

  • Georgia voters on Tuesday contended with long lines and
    malfunctioning voter machines in a state facing one of the most
    hotly contested gubernatorial races in the country. 
  • Some voters reportedly had to wait several hours to cast
    their ballots. 
  • The apparent disorganization at Georgia polling places on
    Election Day comes after weeks of complaints of voter suppression
    directed at Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp.
  • Voters in other states including New York, North Carolina,
    and Tennessee also faced technical issues and delays at the polls
    on Tuesday. 

Georgia voters participating in
the 2018 midterms
on Tuesday contended with long lines and
malfunctioning voter machines in a state facing one of the most
hotly contested gubernatorial races in the country. 

Voters in some precincts reportedly had to wait up to three hours
to cast their ballots.

At a polling place in Snellville, Georgia, voters
reportedly took turns sitting in children’s chairs and on the
floor during the tedious wait to exercise their civic duty. Part
of the problem was a lack of power cords f0r the voting machines,
Gwinnett County director of communications Joe Sorenson told NBC
News

Several polling places in Gwinnett County faced technical
difficulties that led to delays on Tuesday, and at least
one
location will be open to voters
later than usual as a
consequence, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. 

This apparent disorganization at Georgia polling places on
Election Day comes after weeks of complaints of voter suppression
directed at Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp.


Read more:
Midterms 2018 LIVE: Follow along for live results and coverage of
a wild election night

Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state, is in charge of overseeing
the state’s elections. Democrats have accused him of deliberately
working to disenfranchise voters as he goes up against Democratic
candidate Stacey Abrams, who would be the first African-American
female governor in US history if she wins on Tuesday. 

53,000
voter registrations were placed on hold
 by Kemp’s office
due to the state’s “exact-match” system, which can cause
registrations to be stalled over minor discrepancies. Of the
applications on hold, 70% were reportedly filed by black
voters. 

Kemp’s office has also cancelled over 1.4 million
voter registrations since 2012
, including approximately
670,000 in 2017 alone. Kemp has repeatedly insisted this
purge was an effort to thwart voter fraud, and said many of the
registrations he cancelled were people who had moved to another
state or country. 

In recent days, Kemp has accused Democrats of
attempting to hack the state’s voter registration system
, but
provided no evidence. 

In part because of the voter registration controversy — but
also due to Abrams’ chance to make history — the Georgia
gubernatorial race has received widespread national
attention.

Kemp on Tuesday sounded satisfied with how things were
running on Election Day, despite apparent issues in certain parts
of the state. “It’s been very smooth all day long,”
he told reporters.
“We’re getting the normal questions of
people calling, asking where do they go vote, are they
registered. Nothing unusual at all.”

Georgia’s problems on Election Day were not an isolated
phenomenon. Voters in other states including New York, North
Carolina, and Tennessee also faced technical issues and delays at
the polls on Tuesday. 

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