Election 2020, News

As Georgians Shatter Records, Voter Experiences Differ Across Metro Atlanta

The second day of early voting in Gwinnett County saw more long lines.
The second day of early voting in Gwinnett County saw more long lines.
Credit Emil Moffatt/WABE
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Tired of waiting for her absentee ballot to arrive, Enise Deane showed up at the Gwinnett County elections office to vote Monday morning just before 11 a.m.

She didn’t get to vote until  after 7 p.m.

“I don’t know what it was like across the rest of metro Atlanta, but I can tell you here at the Gwinnett County elections board, it was pretty much a nightmare with the exception of the people who were really great to each other in line,” said Deane.

The elections office is one of nine early voting locations in Gwinnett, available to the county’s 500,000 registered voters.

Gwinnett County voter Enise Deane
Enise Deane waited eight hours to vote Monday in Gwinnett County. (Credit: Emil Moffatt/WABE)

Deane says she was glad she waited to cast her vote.

“I was happy at the end of the day. I wanted my vote to count, I wanted to be sure that nothing was lost in the process,” said Deane. “It’s unfortunate that we don’t have the level of trust in the system as it is currently set up.”

The Gwinnett County Fairgrounds and the George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center do have more voting machines, but the long lines at the elections office continued Tuesday on the second day of voting.

Near-Record First Day For Fulton County

More than 20,000 Fulton County residents voted in person on Monday, the first day of early voting in the state

The county’s elections director Richard Barron says that’s the second most early votes ever cast in a single day in the county.

“We anticipated that we were going to have lines. I think the interest in the election is greater than it’s ever been,” said Barron.

Barron notes that Fulton County residents can choose any site to cast an early vote — including three “megasites,” voting locations with extra space and voting machines. Among them, State Farm Arena, which saw 3,000 voters Monday. Lines moved quickly at State Farm Arena after an early technical problem was ironed out.

Statewide Turnout High

Early voting continues through Oct. 30 throughout Georgia, including some weekend voting in all counties.

The first day of early voting saw about 128,000 in-person votes cast statewide, a 42% increase from the first day of early voting before the 2016 general election, and a new record.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says that figure mirrored “the enthusiasm surges we saw in almost every other state that has started early voting for November.”