Come Election Day, the additional time afforded by the delay didn’t assist. At a latest state Home listening to, Danielle Wynn, a ballot watcher in Floyd County, which borders Alabama, testified that three of the 4 ballot-marking units at her location failed at one level. Ballot employees had been additionally unprepared for a flood of questions on absentee ballots that voters had requested however not acquired, and uncertain what to inform those that introduced accomplished ballots to the polls. “Many citizens simply opted to depart with out voting,” she stated.
Carol Beckham, supervisor of a small polling web site in Carroll County, stated confusion over absentee ballots was “simply an abysmal failure” that the state might need helped with extra public outreach. And issues she confronted getting a ballot-marking system to speak with a printer “would’ve brought on chaos” in bigger precincts, she stated.
Jonathan Banes, a precinct supervisor in DeKalb County, stated he had had solely a rudimentary tutorial on the brand new voting machines in February, adopted by an internet refresher. “We didn’t go into troubleshooting eventualities on how one can cope with technical points,” he stated, including that he had been proven fundamentals like how one can “flip the machines on, flip them off — that’s it.”
That left him and a depleted crew of ballot employees unable to start out their gear with out exterior assist. “On the native and state stage, there’s simply not nice coordination,” he stated.
The state’s most populous county, Fulton, was overwhelmed by absentee-ballot requests. Election workplaces additionally briefly closed after a employee turned fatally ailing with the coronavirus. Richard L. Barron, the county’s elections director, likened the twin effort of mailing ballots and conducting in-person voting to operating two elections concurrently — all with a pandemic-depleted workers.
Fulton voters waited weeks for absentee ballots from the county that by no means got here, or arrived broken. After ready a month for an absentee poll, Jon Ossoff, who would win the state’s Democratic Senate main, waited 4 hours to vote early on June 5 on the C. T. Martin Natatorium in Atlanta. He returned dwelling to seek out that his absentee poll had lastly arrived. Ms. Abrams stated hers got here with a return envelope that was sealed.
“There are a myriad of issues that occurred,” Robb Pitts, the chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, stated in an interview, together with that on the 11th hour some longtime polling venues determined in opposition to welcoming voters amid the pandemic.