An Unexpected Pipe Burst and Machine Malfunctions Cause Voting Delays in Georgia
The Metro Atlanta area experienced a handful of setbacks on Election Day, causing voting delays in one of the key areas that’ll help decide the election.
Election Day got off to a rocky start in Georgia, particularly the Metro Atlanta area, after two incidents caused voting delays.
The first occurred early Election Day morning when all voting machines in Spalding County went down. Workers incorrectly loaded information onto the poll pads, which caused the glitch.
Spalding county, don’t be going all McDonald’s ice cream machine on us now https://t.co/II2QJeJ09J— J Dres™ 🧸⃤ 🤯⃤ 🥺⃤ 🥶⃤🧠⃤ (@JDres15) November 3, 2020
This is the first year Georgia has used these machines, which are touchscreen computers that connect to printers that create paper ballots. This makes it easier to check electronic results, giving voters an opportunity to check the paper ballot before putting them into the ballot scanners.
People in Spalding county should be given three extra days to vote.— Aaron Westbury (@aaronPOwestbury) November 3, 2020
In the meantime, voters at some polling locations had to use paper ballots which were then stored in a box and taken elsewhere to be counted. Some questioned this process and worried that their votes wouldn’t be counted fairly.
Regardless of the setback, those on social media encouraged Spalding County voters to stay in line to make sure their votes were cast. Workers eventually got the machines working again, and voting hours in the county were extended from 7pm to 9pm.
If you’re in Spalding County GA and waiting to vote, keep waiting as long as you can, or return to the line before 7 pm. Technical issues are frustrating for you & the poll workers, but voting is important! Don’t let anything distract you!— Coach Stikes (@CoachStikes) November 3, 2020
Shortly after the machine debacle, a pipe burst in State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta in a room where ballots were being held. The burst occurred in Fulton County, Georgia’s most populated and one with a high African American population. State Farm Arena was also the state’s largest polling center.
The temperature range in Atlanta yesterday was between 66-38F yet “pipes burst” in the one government building housing absentee ballots… amazing— Jim Gulley (@mayorgulley) November 4, 2020
Many questioned the timing of the burst, claiming that it was not a coincidence that it occurred at that place at that time. Some linked it to the demographics of that area, speculating that this was just another way to suppress the Black vote.
Anybody wanna talk about how a pipe burst in Fulton county the dominantly black county in Atlanta causing the delay for GA— Aaliyah Landecho (@itsaaliyahhhhh) November 4, 2020
This isn’t the first time this has come up in the Southern state. Talks of voter suppression have been discussed during early voting, as well as during the 2018 gubernatorial race where Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams accused Republican candidate Brian Kemp of suppressing Black votes in order to win the election.
its the “pipe burst” for me. the largest polling destination in Atlanta and ALL OF A SUDDEN on the day OF the election a pipe decided it had enough?? ok.— nae dominique. (@naesoboojee) November 4, 2020
According to Politico, Metro Atlanta is one of the top ten areas in the nation that’ll help decide the presidency, specifically Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton and Dekalb counties, so ensuring the safety of their votes is especially crucial.
I still can’t get over the “pipe burst” in the room with the ballots in ATLANTA!!! the most lazy lie I ever heard of— unforgettable (@princessiyana_) November 4, 2020
Fortunately, no ballots were damaged at State Farm Arena, but the burst and machine malfunctions in Spalding County have both delayed vote counting in Georgia. All votes have yet to be counted, and the race is currently neck and neck in Georgia, one of the battleground states of the election. Many are biting their nails as we all wait to see whether or not the country will get a new president.