Fulton County voters find trouble at the polls during early voting

Voters already reporting problems with early voting in District 5 special election

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Early voting is just getting underway, and voters were already uncovering problems.

People who showed up to vote for the late Congressman John Lewis' replacement told Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Justin Gray that they were hitting roadblocks.

The problems come just days after the county laid out a plan to fix voting problems.

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Voters who went to the Buckhead Library Wednesday said they spent hours just trying to cast their votes for the special election, despite extremely light turnout.

Atlanta resident Catherine Hynes said she was turned away when she tried to vote in the District 5 spacial election.

“He said, ‘You’ll have to come back,’” Hynes said. “He said something with a glitch and the state and District 5, so I don’t know what it was.”

After calling the election office and going back to vote a second time, Hynes was finally able to cast her ballot.

But she wasn’t alone.

Rosalind Elliot brought an entire van load of voters from her Buckhead senior living facility to early vote.

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“I though that I was going to be gone at least 30 minutes, and it ended up being hours trying to cast a vote,” Elliot said. “That’s not fair to anybody. This is the United States of America. This is not a third-world country.”

Three of the seniors voted with no issues, but the rest of the group were incorrectly told they’d already voted.

“The other ten of us were not able to vote,” Elliot said. “They said in the system, it said we had already voted.”

After waiting two hours at the library, the group was sent to different early voting location across town, where they were told the same thing. The system said they’d already cast their ballots.

Finally, four hours later, they were allowed to vote.

“If you can’t get it together on a special election... we only had to vote one thing... What’s going to happen in November?” Elliot said. “So I’m concerned.”

Fulton County election officials released a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying one of the seven early voting sits, the one at Buckhead Library, experienced a “temporary delay.”

“Once management were notified of this issue they were able to work with the manager to resolve a portion of the issue,” officials wrote. “In addition, we became aware of issue involving Poll Pads, which is the responsibility of the vendor. The Elections Department has learned that according to the vendor, the Poll Pads were operating normally until mid-morning due to a technical error. The vendor is currently reviewing the data collected at the site. It was a vendor product issue, which was not contained only to Fulton County.”

Voters turn out to honor John Lewis by voting early in special election to fill his seat