Georgia breaks record for first day of early voting -- while voters wait in line late into night

Georgia breaks record for first day of early voting -- while voters wait in line late into night

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.

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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.

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.

“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.

“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.

6:07 p.m.: As of about 6 p.m., about 75,000 people had voted early across the state:

5:43 p.m.: This voter says it took only 20 minutes to vote at State Farm Arena.


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.

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

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.

12:52 p.m.: Some voters in Cobb County say there is a 5-and-a-half hour wait to vote.

12:36 p.m.: Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce directing traffic at the front of the line at State Farm arena for voters.

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.

10:47 a.m.: A Channel 2 Action News photographer reports very little wait at 2050 Will Ross Court in Chamblee.

10:15 a.m.: People waiting outside South DeKalb Mall to vote.

9:19 a.m.: Long line in Cobb County at Lower Roswell Road.

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.

8:46 a.m.: Long lines outside an early voting location in Rockdale County.

8:35 a.m.: Viewer photo from the Gwinnett County fairgrounds early voting site.

8:15 a.m.: A viewer sent Channel 2′s Nicole Carr video of a big line of voters in Marietta.

8 a.m.: Video shows the line of voters in Lawrenceville.

7:50 a.m.: Hundreds in line for early voting at main election office in Gwinnett County.

There are three ways to cast your vote on or before Election Day 2020