AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Fewer machines to ensure social distancing is not stopping Georgia voters from casting their ballots in person during a pandemic.
State leaders with a 40-percent increase compared to the previous elections, that is now overloading the state’s “E-Net” registration system and adding to wait times at precincts.
Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri, talks to the secretary of state, on what’s being done to solve those issues before election day.
Georgia can count a new voting record. The secretary of state says nearly 250-thousand people in Georgia have already cast their ballots in just the first two days of early voting.
“We are working with the counties on what we think will be a record turnout for election day on November 3rd.”
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says around 10-percent of the state’s registered voters have already cast their ballots.
“128,000 people is manageable but when they all show up at 7 a.m. it is high capacity.”
Raffensperger says the state plans to deploy more equipment and extra workers to avoid lines like the primaries.
“If you look at the lines, they look long because everyone is spaced 6 feet apart and that makes it look longer. It also takes longer because the machines have to be cleaned and wiped down It’s slower and cumbersome because of the pandemic.”
The Secretary of State also talked about the bandwidth issue with the E-net system and says they are working with a vendor to resolve that by the end of the week. We have seen some lines in some counties are adding equipment to deal with those issues.
Raffensburger hopes that Georgians take advantage of early voting or absentee ballots to avoid large crowds on election day.
“What I would really encourage is that the 1.6 million people who requested absentee ballots, actually came in, and people didn’t show up in person.”
The Secretary of State says they have submitted 40-thousand possible names for poll workers to staff county election offices. The Secretary of State says poll workers will do temperature checks and turn away voters if they show signs of COVID-19 and tell them to come back at a time.
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