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Voting hours extended at three Fulton County locations in Atlanta

Three Fulton County polling precincts stayed open past 7 p.m.

The Pittman Park Recreation Center location was open until 9 p.m. after voters encountered long lines on Election Day because of too few machines.

Booker T. Washington High School and Archer Hall at Morehouse College both stayed open until 10 p.m. An attorney, Nora Benavidez, said students who registered to vote were not found on the rolls, and that Booker T. Washington ran out of provisional ballots and sent voters to Archer Auditorium.

Jason Carter, the 2014 Democratic candidate for governor, said there was “a huge amount of attention” being paid at Pittman, where Fulton County representatives earlier in the day apologized for not having enough voting machines.

There were only three machines until 11 a.m. said Gerry Weber, an attorney who said he filed suit to keep the precinct open later on behalf of the NAACP and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda.

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Five more machines were later added, but Weber said some of them were malfunctioning. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Gail S. Tusan signed the orders extending the hours.

Harold Franklin, a representative of the nonpartisan group Georgia Election Protection, said there had been a lot of issues involving machine failures and a lack of paper ballots in the state.

“Those issues were rampant in Fulton County,” he said. “Hopefully, the orders will resolve everything.”

A spokesperson for Fulton County said she had no comment on the orders.

Franklin said lines at Pittman lasted for several hours and Booker T. Washington ran out of provisional ballots at least twice.

Earlier in the day, Rev. Jesse Jackson went to the Pittman precinct to encourage people to stay and vote. In a statement posted to his Facebook page, the civil rights leader called the issue “a classic example of voter suppression, denying people easy access to exercise their right to vote.”

William and Cecelia Reilly voted shortly before 9 p.m. — three hours after they got to Pittman. Despite the wait, William Reilly, 28, said he felt an “overwhelming level of humanity and community” while waiting. People passed out water and a band started playing, he said.

Cecelia Reilly, 26, said it was one of the “most moving” voting days.

By 5:42 p.m., about 123,000 Fulton County residents had cast their ballots, said Richard Barron, the Fulton County director of Registration and Elections.

“We had a successful day, other than that,” he said of the issues that kept some precincts open later.

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