Secretary of State says he, others told they couldn’t vote early by mistaken poll workers

Secretary of State says he, others told they couldn’t vote early by mistaken poll workers

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Some voters in Fulton County have been mistakenly told by poll workers that they can't vote in the runoff election.

One of them was the state's top election official, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who clearly knew better. Now he's concerned about other voters.

Raffensperger tried to vote early in Johns Creek, and what happened to him turned out to be a comedy of errors.

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But he told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray that there was nothing funny about other voters who called his office with the same issue.

“I went to vote, and they said there’s nothing here to vote for, there’s only a Democrat election,” Raffensperger said.

Shortly after that, Raffensperger said other Republican voters in Fulton County called his office with the same problem.

They said they were told by poll workers there's only a Democratic runoff.

“We’ve been getting reports of that from other people who’ve been going and actually leaving because they don’t think they can vote in any election,” Raffensperger said.

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Gray talked to one of those voters on the phone who did not want to go on camera. She told Gray that she was turned away from an Alpharetta early voting site.

While there are no runoffs between Republican candidates, there is a nonpartisan judicial race and a nonpartisan school board runoff open to all voters.

For the state's top election official, the problems continued after he convinced the poll worker to let him vote.

“I went to the voting machine. What popped up was the Democrat ballot,” Raffensperger said. “My concern on that actually is I do not want to vote on a Democrat ballot. I’m a Republican, and so this is their runoff election. We want to make sure Republicans aren’t voting in Democratic races.”

Gray contacted Fulton County about the issue. They sent him a statement, saying:

“Fulton County understands that its responsibility is to provide experienced prepared poll workers throughout the election process. This includes making sure that our team of poll workers receive the necessary and required in-person training.”

In their response, Fulton acknowledged the mistake with the secretary of state's ballot, but didn't mention anything about other voters.

Raffensperger told Gray that he reached out to Fulton County himself.

The goal, he says, is to make sure both voters and poll workers understand that all voters can vote in the runoff.

Early voting underway at State Farm Arena