Voter turnout steady in Georgia, no widespread problems reported

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Voter turnout steady in Georgia, no widespread problems reported

Voter turnout in Georgia appeared steady Tuesday, with no widespread polling problems reported going into late afternoon.

That includes in DeKalb County, which started the day experiencing technical issues at some polling locations. At Briarlake Elementary School shortly before 8 a.m., for example, precinct officials at one point were down to one functioning computer to verify registered voters, and they took that one down for a period to reboot the system.

Traffic was light at the precinct, so the delay only affected about a half dozen voters who waited while officials pored over a printout explaining the rebooting process.

Sporadic problems reported by voters in Fulton County also included technical issues, although county election officials said the biggest issue appeared to be voters going to the wrong polling place. Some voters also reported confusion over polling locations, including at Atlanta’s Morris Brandon and Fickett elementary schools and Milton’s Northwestern Middle School.

In Cobb County, elections director Janine Eveler said the day had been “very, very busy.” The county elections office had received a number of calls from people who haven’t voted for awhile and were at the wrong place because they hadn’t checked in advance on their polling place, Eveler said.

As a result, she said, she’s expected a fair number of provisional ballots but said she had no reports of any machine malfunctions or significant problems.

In Gwinnett County, voting has been “mostly smooth and steady,” county spokesman Joe Sorenson said.

Voters at two south Gwinnett precincts ran into a problem: a car hit a pole, causing a power outage at the precincts that lasted about 45 minutes, he said.

Otherwise, Sorenson said the only problem has been long lines of people coming to vote at the elections’ main office instead of their regular polling places.

It is still too soon to know how many voters are casting their ballots today. Turnout is expected to be strong, after Georgia broke an early voting record this year ahead of Tuesday’s presidential primary.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office reported last week that voters cast 417,491 early ballots by end of day Friday, the last day for in-person early voting statewide.

That broke the state’s previous record for early voting in advance of the presidential preference primary, which was set in 2008 with a total of 271,418 early votes cast.

Staff writers Nancy Badertscher and Chris Joyner contributed to this report.

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