Voter check-in computers come back online after outage in Georgia

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

‘Glitch’ snarled early voting Thursday morning

Georgia’s voter check-in system was restored Thursday morning after a statewide outage had caused problems with early voting in the primary election, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Voters were still able to cast ballots during the outage, but poll workers had to use backup procedures to verify their registration information before they were allowed to vote.

The problem was caused by a “glitch” after primary and backup servers automatically restarted Wednesday night, said a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office. Restarting the servers Thursday morning appeared to fix the issue.

The disruption affected Georgia’s voter registration system, called ElectioNet, which is used to check in voters at early voting locations during the primary. The secretary of state’s office announced plans to replace the ElectioNet system earlier this year, but the new computer system wasn’t ready in time for the primary.

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Election workers instead checked in voters without using ElectioNet, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Early voting locations have thumb drives that contain the voter rolls, and counties could also verify voters’ registration information through the state’s My Voter Page. Some counties, including Fulton, use check-in system called EasyVote that remained operational.

Backup systems create voting records that ensure only one ballot is cast for each voter, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Through Wednesday, early voting turnout reached record levels for a primary, with over 92,500 people voting in the first three days. Early voting is available for three weeks ahead of the May 24 election.

In DeKalb County, election officials confirmed they were unable to use ElectioNet during the outage Thursday, but there were no reports of delays or lines.

“Our goal is to process everyone accurately and quickly so everyone can cast their ballots today as intended,” said spokesman Erik Burton.