ATLANTA — The Secretary of State’s Office confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that Georgia has broken the record for the amount of people voting in person on the first day of early voting.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, 126,876 Georgians voted on Monday. The previous record was about 90,000 voters.
Elections officials say those long lines at the polls had nothing to do with any systematic failure, but the sheer volume of people voting. As of about 10 p.m., Channel 2′s crews still found people waiting in line to vote at a polling location in Cobb County.
One election official told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray that the long lines were similar to the lines you see when a new iPhone goes on sale.
I just spoke to staff from @GaSecofState about the lines. They tell me they are not getting alerts & calls to their technical staff about problems with machines or tech - they say they knew there would be lines on day 1 - it’s a volume issue as so many people head to vote day 1— Justin Gray (@JustinGrayWSB) October 12, 2020
With the long lines, the day started out with some glitches at polling places across the metro.
At State Farm Arena, there was an issue with downloading information to poll pads. The issue took about 30 minutes to resolve. The problem delayed voting for a bit, but because there were 300 voting machines in the arena, people’s wait times to vote were quickly reduced to about 10-20 minutes.
Fulton County chairman Robb Pitts said for the most part, issues were handled quickly.
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“There was a printer that malfunctioned, a scanner that malfunctioned at one. Those problems were corrected quickly but it’s just the volume of people,” Pitts said.
Gabriel Sterling with Secretary of State’s Office said there were no reports of any major equipment failures.
“We’re seeing a lot of people show up the first day. It’s kind of like when Apple releases a new phone. If you show up the first day, you’re going to wait in line a minute,” Sterling said.
In Henry County, voters told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington that the long wait to vote was worth it.
[Your Voice, Your Vote: Complete Channel 2 Action News coverage of 2020 Election]
“A lot of people have given up their lives to make it possible for us to vote, so standing here in the sun is not a sacrifice,” voter Uche Dronini said.
At one point, the line at a McDonough polling location curved around the block.
One voter in Lawrenceville told Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach that he didn’t trust the mail system to take care of his ballot.
“I’m scared about the mailing and ballots and stuff because people finding mail in the trash. I want to be out here and share my voice,” Apollo Zamora said.
For first-time voter Telore Dorsey, the long lines didn’t matter. He thought the experience was pretty cool.
“I think it was a good experience and I learned a lot,” Dorsey said.
Election officials in the city of Stonecrest said they saw a record number of people show up Monday at the new city hall.
More than 260 voters cast their ballots during just the first two hours of voting.
Early voting ends on Oct. 30. Here are the early voting locations across Georgia:
A MINUTE-BY-MINUTE LOOK AT THE DAY:
6:15 p.m.: Election officials say as of about 6:15 p.m., some 110,000 people have voted early so far.
As of 615PM: @GaSecofState says 110,000 people voted at early voting locations statewide on day 1— Justin Gray (@JustinGrayWSB) October 12, 2020
6:07 p.m.: As of about 6 p.m., about 75,000 people had voted early across the state:
Numbers for today so far with most early voting locations still open for another hour - @GaSecofState office tells me at least 75,000 Georgians voted at early voting locations today— Justin Gray (@JustinGrayWSB) October 12, 2020
5:43 p.m.: This voter says it took only 20 minutes to vote at State Farm Arena.
State Farm Arena! In and out in 20 minutes!! pic.twitter.com/W9YqHpsfLE— Dr.Fran (@thedrofmack) October 12, 2020
5:01 p.m.: Here is a look at wait times in Gwinnett County. Some voters have waited up to 8 hours today:
Whoa! These are the current wait times to early vote in Gwinnett County. One location is more than 8 hours! Cobb County...Posted by WSB-TV on Monday, October 12, 2020
4:23 p.m.: One voter said there has been about a 5 hour wait at a polling location in Stockbridge.
@wsbtv 5 hours in line to vote in Stockbridge Georgia and still not at the door. pic.twitter.com/MHhZwXFcQG— rundee (@rundee1116) October 12, 2020
2:51 p.m.: Channel 2′s Michael Seiden says he’s seeing long lines at the East Cobb Government Service Center on Lower Roswell Road
Early voting is underway in GA! This is the current scene outside the East Cobb Government Service Center on Lower Roswell Road, near Johnson Ferry Road. The polls are open daily from 7 am -7 pm. Hear over to https://t.co/T4gfmJdML3 for more information on polls, etc. pic.twitter.com/AAA6gzZhjn— Michael Seiden (@SeidenWSBTV) October 12, 2020
2:33 p.m.: A Channel 2 viewer said she has been waiting in line at a polling location in Cobb County since 6:45 a.m.
My mom has been in line to vote since 6:45 am at the Whitlock polling site in Cobb. She probably has another hour in line. Can someone get to the bottom of a EIGHT HOUR LINE?! @ajc @wsbtv @FOX5Atlanta pic.twitter.com/ORlileGnDX— msr36819 (@msr36819) October 12, 2020
12:52 p.m.: Some voters in Cobb County say there is a 5-and-a-half hour wait to vote.
Happening now: Huge lines at voting locations in Cobb County including here on Whitlock in Marietta. Voters tell me it’s a 5 & 1/2 hour wait. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/jTWZFZ5DwH— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseWSB) October 12, 2020
12:36 p.m.: Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce directing traffic at the front of the line at State Farm arena for voters.
Hard to recognize him under the mask, but for most of the day today the person directing traffic at the front of the line at State Farm arena has been @ATLHawks Head Coach @LloydPierceLP pic.twitter.com/SWptdNlK1W— Justin Gray (@JustinGrayWSB) October 12, 2020
11:11 a.m.: Channel 2′s Chris Jose says people are waiting as long as 2-and-a-half hours to vote at the EpiCenter Riverside location near Six Flags in Cobb County.
Happening now: First day of advanced voting in Georgia. Long lines in Cobb County including this location at EpiCenter Riverside near Six Flags where the wait is 2-2.5 hours long, according to voters. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/T85HqZGkAT— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseWSB) October 12, 2020
10:47 a.m.: A Channel 2 Action News photographer reports very little wait at 2050 Will Ross Court in Chamblee.
Barely any wait at a new early voting location in Chamblee at @core4atlanta_ (2050 Will Ross Court)@wsbtv pic.twitter.com/iJ5qzknFQQ— Scott Mottern (@SwagOn2) October 12, 2020
10:15 a.m.: People waiting outside South DeKalb Mall to vote.
This is the early voting line at South DeKalb mall pic.twitter.com/LvePQmPHwp— Justin Gray (@JustinGrayWSB) October 12, 2020
9:19 a.m.: Long line in Cobb County at Lower Roswell Road.
This is just some of the line at Lower Roswell road in Cobb County pic.twitter.com/sGChAXSrOS— Justin Gray (@JustinGrayWSB) October 12, 2020
8:48 a.m.: This video shows people lined up down the street from the early voting location on Ponce De Leon Avenue in Atlanta.
I was just sent this video of the line for early voting at the Ponce Library in Fulton, also hearing that the South Fulton site started late & also has a long line pic.twitter.com/yog3TkHtoD— Justin Gray (@JustinGrayWSB) October 12, 2020
8:46 a.m.: Long lines outside an early voting location in Rockdale County.
Thread: Viewer pics from Rockdale County early voting site #Election2020 #VOTE @wsbtv https://t.co/rF9e1CnbOX— Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) October 12, 2020
8:35 a.m.: Viewer photo from the Gwinnett County fairgrounds early voting site.
I’ll just keep a thread going today . Another viewer sent this pic from the Gwinnett County fairgrounds early voting site. Line monitor says there are 24 voting machines. @wsbtv #Election2020 #VOTE pic.twitter.com/Wf1dI2hHZn— Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) October 12, 2020
8:15 a.m.: A viewer sent Channel 2′s Nicole Carr video of a big line of voters in Marietta.
Viewer just sent me this video from an early voting site in Marietta. @wsbtv #Election2020 #gapol #VOTE pic.twitter.com/pS5M3iuxdO— Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) October 12, 2020
8 a.m.: Video shows the line of voters in Lawrenceville.
Just some of the line in Lawrenceville to early vote just as polls open pic.twitter.com/xfgeEHsJ2N— Steve Gehlbach (@SteveGWSB) October 12, 2020
7:50 a.m.: Hundreds in line for early voting at main election office in Gwinnett County.
Hundreds in line for early voting at main election office in Gwinnett County...opens at 8am and line wrapped around the building (this is end) pic.twitter.com/TH3SiSNYkw— Steve Gehlbach (@SteveGWSB) October 12, 2020
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