When put to the real-world test, new voting machines and related electronic hardware are acting up. Meanwhile, some Georgians are still waiting for absentee ballots to arrive.
Yes, the “record numbers” cited by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office have proven to be a large factor in wait times measured in hours at some voting locations this week.
Even so, it should be unacceptable to election officials – and Georgians – that some voters had to wait eight hours in Gwinnett County to reach a voting machine.
We understand this year is much more difficult, given the pandemic-fighting necessities of social distancing, increased cleaning and other changes.
But in the coming days, the state and counties need to redouble efforts to address these problems and increase capacity.
Our democracy, after all, depends on it.
Election workers, though, aren’t the only ones who have a role to play.
Each of us has a part.
Employers can help by being as flexible as they can in allowing workers time to vote. In a guest column earlier this month, an owner of Carrollton-based Southwire wrote about helping its 7,000 employees “participate directly in the very democracy that drives their own economic and social opportunities.”
We urge other companies to follow that example.
Voters themselves can help by doing their homework to learn more about the candidates and the issues. Reliable sources – such as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Voter Guide, which appeared in last Sunday’s newspaper and can be found on AJC.com – are vital.
A strong democracy demands that its voters be well-informed. It also lessens the time spent in front of voting screens, helping lines move faster.
An unprecedented year and an important election demand no less from each of us.
The Editorial Board.