Georgians Flock To Early Voting Sites

Oct 18, 2016

Early voting kicked off Monday in Georgia and long lines at some of the polls have done nothing to deter early voters.

Gwinnett County’s only polling station is no exception with hundreds of residents lining up to vote. Paquita Wright, a local business owner, stood in line for nearly three hours this morning. She had hoped to beat the rush she expects to see closer to Nov. 8.

Macon voters had a shorter wait time Tuesday morning – about 15 to 20 minutes. David Reader was in that line. Like Wright, he was interested in avoiding long wait times. But he also said he’s “not happy with either candidate,” and that for him, it’s like choosing between “a lesser of two evils.” At the end of the day, he just hopes that “America will get it right.”

Other Macon voters were excited about their chance to vote for their candidates. Baxter Sowell says he’s known his top choice for two years. He voted early because he doesn’t expect Wednesday’s presidential debates to change his opinion. Darrell Lanier of Lizella cast his vote—he said “Donald [Trump] is the man!”

Secretary of State Brian Kemp is understandably excited that “Georgia voters are highly enthusiastic.” At least 145,000 ballots have been cast in the first two days of Georgia’s early voting period – and Kemp says it’s because people are “taking full advantage of unprecedented access to the ballot box to make sure their voice is heard.” He also recognizes that better technology and hard work by state and county officials are responsible for the early turnout boom.

A press release from Kemp’s office shows that Georgians have submitted about 62,000 absentee ballots and 85,000 in-person ballots. And they’re still waiting on more than 100,000 outstanding absentee ballots.

Secretary Kemp encourages anyone who notices voting irregularities to report any problems to the Georgia Secretary of State Investigations Division. To make your complaint heard, you can contact Kemp’s office via social media. You can also reach out to the “Stop Voter Fraud” website and hotline at (877) 725-9797.

Georgia law requires the polls be open on Saturday, October 29 in all 159 Georgia counties. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.