Politics

Democrats Sue Georgia Election Officials Over Long Lines At Polls

Kelsey Luker reads as she waits in line to vote in June in Atlanta. A lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Atlanta alleges that the causes of long lines that have forced Georgians to wait hours to vote during multiple elections, including the June primary, “are directly traceable” to election officials.
Kelsey Luker reads as she waits in line to vote in June in Atlanta. A lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Atlanta alleges that the causes of long lines that have forced Georgians to wait hours to vote during multiple elections, including the June primary, “are directly traceable” to election officials.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated PRess file
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Democrats are asking a federal judge to order Georgia election officials to take steps to prevent long lines at the polls on Election Day.

A lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Atlanta alleges that the causes of long lines that have forced Georgians to wait hours to vote during multiple elections, including the June primary, “are directly traceable” to election officials. The lawsuit seeks “to remedy the fundamentally unreasonable conditions that have led, repeatedly, to unconstitutional burdens on countless Georgia voters.”

The lawsuit was filed by the Democratic Party of Georgia, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and three Georgia voters against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who’s the top elections official in the state, and other state and county election officials.

Raffensperger’s office did not immediately have a comment on the lawsuit Thursday.

“At the end of the day, what matters to us is that voters are not negatively impacted at any level of the electoral process,” state Sen. Nikema Williams, chair of the state Democratic Party, told reporters Thursday.

The long lines are caused by the closure and consolidation of polling places, a failure to provide adequate equipment, insufficient training of election officials and volunteers, a shortage of technicians to address technical problems, insufficient time to set up polling locations and a lack of emergency paper ballot backups when equipment fails, the lawsuit says.

It asks a judge to declare that these problems violate voters’ constitutional rights and to order election officials to provide enough polling places and other election resources to prevent long lines on Election Day.

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