ATLANTA — Long lines of people eager to cast ballots formed as early in-person voting began in Georgia on Monday, Oct. 12, and problems soon developed in the state’s most populous county.
Election officials in Fulton County were aware of an issue with the electronic pollbooks used to check voters in at State Farm Arena, where the Atlanta Hawks NBA team plays, county spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt-Dominguez said. Technicians were on site working to resolve it, she said.
The line began moving when the arena opened for voting at 8 a.m. and some voters were able to cast their ballots, but things ground to a halt a short time later when the pollbooks stopped working with hundreds of people waiting. By mid-morning, the problem appeared to have been resolved and the lines had cleared at the arena, which is the largest early voting site in the state with 300 voting machines.
Some people lined up before dawn to be among the first to participate in early in-person voting, which runs through Oct. 30 in Georgia. While voters must vote at their assigned polling place on Election Day, they can vote at any voting site in the county where they live during early voting.
With record turnout expected for this year’s presidential election and fears about exposure to the coronavirus, election officials and advocacy groups have been encouraging people to vote early, either in person or by absentee ballot.
Problems with the electronic pollbooks were one of the issues that contributed to hourslong lines in Georgia during the June primary election, along with high turnout, consolidated polling places and shortages of poll workers.
With Georgia emerging as a potential battleground state, surrogates from both the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns were scheduled to travel to the state Monday.
Jill Biden, wife of former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, was scheduled to appear at an event in DeKalb County with prominent state Democrats before traveling to Columbus to meet with military and veteran families.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr. was set to travel to Savannah near the coast and Kennesaw, just outside Atlanta, to rally Republican voters.