Battle for Georgia Ballot 2022: Ongoing Election Day coverage

Reporting on wait times, mix-ups and whatever news breaks

By: - November 8, 2022 12:19 pm

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MAY 24: A roll of stickers sit on a table as people vote during the Georgia primary at the Metropolitan Library on May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. Election Day allows people to vote on Republican and Democratic nominees for offices. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Georgia Recorder staff is fanning out on Election Day to report from precincts, the secretary of state’s war room and from communities that will select winners in some of the most fiercely fought campaigns.

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1 year ago

Georgia election officials report short waits to vote despite high turnout

By: - 6:59 pm
Georgia Secretary of State Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling descried the Nov. 8 Election Day as being wonderfully boring heading into the final couple hours before the close of polls. State officials are expecting a record voter turnout for a midterm. Stanley Dunlap/Georgia Recorder

Georgia Secretary of State’s Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling reported  average wait times of just a few minutes statewide even though Election Day turnout could flirt with a midterm record.

Polls in Georgia close at 7 p.m., but voters standing in line before then are allowed to vote. During the early voting period, 2.5 million more Georgians cast their ballots in person or via absentee ballot than during the midterm election in 2018.   

Sterling said that there was a possibility that another 2 million voters would come out to vote in person Tuesday. 

Six polling stations in the state will remain open beyond 7 p.m. because they opened late in the morning. These include two locations each in Cobb and DeKalb counties, as well as sites in Fayette and Irwin counties.

Therefore, the results will come in in the order of advanced voting, absentee voting, and then Election Day ballots counted.

“Again this has been wonderfully, stupendously boring today,” Sterling said during a Tuesday media briefing at the secretary of state’s Atlanta command center. 

“What we have normally seen historically, is you have a bump of people in the morning,” Sterling said. “And then what we’re getting anecdotally from our discussions with county elections officials is their numbers are starting to increase as we get into that (later day), with the biggest hour between 5 and 6 and it usually starts to kind of steady out after that.”

Under Georgia’s new voting law, the way votes are counted and reported is accelerated. 

Election workers must continuously count the ballots throughout the night and there is a 10 p.m. deadline for counties to report the total number of votes that have been cast.

 The first results that will come in on election night will be from advanced voting and absentee ballots that have come in before Tuesday, state Election Director Blake Evans said.

State Election Director Blake Evans said accuracy is the first priority for county election officials as they work under new rules for counting and reporting votes from the Nov. 8 midterm election. Stanley Dunlap/Georgia Recorder

Next, will be the votes cast on Election Day at polling locations. Those results will be tabulated and reported after the memory cards and ballots are brought to election offices.

“Counties recognize the importance of getting results quickly but they will prioritize security and accuracy and making sure that what they’re reporting is accurate,” Evans said. “Results that their electors, that their voters can have confidence in.”

The heavyweights on the GOP and Democratic tickets hold watch night parties across metro Atlanta as polls close Tuesday night. Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr, as well as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, Herschel Walker, will host events at The Battery Atlanta, the mixed-use development around the Atlanta Braves stadium.

Meanwhile, Democrats U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams will hold events at the adjacent Mariott Marquis and Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta.

Last updated: 7:00 pm

1 year ago

Poll workers report high Election Day turnout in north Georgia

By: - 6:27 pm
Wayne Scott, a retired veteran who voted for the Democratic candidates, said he’s not concerned about claims of fraud this time. Ross Williams/Georgia Recorder

Jimmy Long, retired, of Aragon, said he was excited to cast his ballot for Republican Gov. Brian Kemp because of his record on guns and the economy.

“One of the main things is he finally did the gun carry law, and I was really for that,” he said. “And he didn’t shut down in Georgia when the pandemic hit. Things closed, but he got them back before anybody else did.”
But Pamela Carter, a former teacher from Euharlee, said she voted for Democrat Stacey Abrams, also because of Kemp’s record.
“They made a big deal out of how he sent the kids back to school early, but my eight-year-old grandson got COVID. So I don’t think he was very circumspect in that regard. Granted, not going to school was not good. I was a teacher. But I also know that a lot of the teachers they have forced to come back to work have children or older parents at home. So you know, it’s just isn’t the right thing to do.”
Susie Bohannon, who is out of work on disability, said she came out to support Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, despite the negative ads she has seen opposing him.
”There’s been a lot of bad advertisements on TV about him, but the way I look at it, if he had done all those things, he would be in jail, he wouldn’t be running,” she said. “That’s just ridiculous. But I like him. I think he’s got a good attitude. And I think he deserves a shot to see what he can do for us.”
Aja Wood, who works in the solar industry, said she proudly voted for Abrams and Warnock.
“Abortion is a big one. Just control of the Senate is kind of a big deal right now. “It’s not a lesser of two evils option as far as they go. I actually do like them both. It’s not how I felt in the presidential election, I was very much voting against somebody in the presidential election more than I was voting for somebody. This one, I actually like them.”
Voters from both parties said they were concerned the losing side will not concede, but they were largely confident the results would be accurate.
Wayne Scott, a retired veteran who voted for the Democratic candidates, said he’s not concerned about claims of fraud this time.
“Honestly, I think that anyone who thinks that the elections aren’t free and fair, they might be living in a different version of reality,” he said. “After 2020, there were 60-plus federal lawsuits, and not a single one of them produced any kind of evidence that there was any kind of voter fraud out there.”

1 year ago

Warnock makes Election Day campaign stop at alma mater

By: - 3:21 pm
Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks to students at Morehouse College on Election Day. Jill Nolin/Georgia Recorder

Sen. Raphael Warnock held his last public campaign stop on familiar turf: his alma mater.

Warnock, who is in a tight race with Republican Herschel Walker, spoke with students at Morehouse College Tuesday afternoon and urged them to rally their friends and classmates to the polls in the final hours of voting in Georgia’s midterm.

“Brothers, don’t let anybody tell you it doesn’t matter who’s in this office,” Warnock said to the students. “It does. Don’t let anybody tell you your vote doesn’t count. It does. Don’t let anybody convince you it won’t make a difference. It does.

“If I had not been elected – as brilliant as she is and she deserves to be there – but if I had not been elected, we wouldn’t have a Supreme Court justice named Ketanji Brown Jackson,” he said, referring to the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.

Most of the students there said they had already voted, though some said they voted by absentee in their hometowns.

Drew Dozier

Drew Dozier, a Morehouse freshman from Washington D.C. who is studying political science, said he didn’t realize until too late he could register as a voter in Georgia. He voted by absentee ballot back home but said he plans to register here for the next election.

“I think a lot of students have taken advantage of that to mobilize the Black vote,” Dozier said.

Young voter turnout has been low during the early voting period. Nearly 9% of the state’s voters between the ages of 18 and 29 had cast a ballot going into Tuesday, according to GeorgiaVotes.com.

That isn’t too surprising to Kai Ingram, a 20-year-old Spellman student, who said she sees the lack of engagement firsthand.

Nya Morgan and Kai Ingram

“You’ll talk to someone and you’ll be like, are you voting? They’re like ‘No’ or they don’t know how to vote or they’re not registered,” Ingram said.

“Just now I had to call my sister – my sister is 26 – and she’s like, ‘Why?’ Especially I think as Black people we’re so disconnected. We think that everything is bad, which it can be, but there are little ways that we can make it better.”

Warnock told reporters Tuesday he was prepared to “soldier on for a few more weeks” if there is a runoff. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held on Dec. 6.

Last updated: 3:21 pm

1 year ago

Fulton poll workers fired over social media posts

By: - 1:54 pm
Nadine Williams, Fulton County interim elections director, said the county removed two poll workers before the polls opened on Election Day. Screenshot/Fulton County

As early afternoon approached on Election Day 2022, short lines were reported across Georgia’s most populous county’s 249 polling stations.

As Fulton County officials expect record turnout for the midterm election, the first part of Tuesday’s voting days went relatively smoothly. The county’s online tool showed wait times at pollution sites of less than 30 minutes by Tuesday afternoon.

The day was not without its problems, however, as a mother and son were removed from poll worker duty before a Johns Creek site opened at 7 a.m.

A poll worker alerted election administrators about social media posts made by a woman working at the north Atlanta suburb site, said Nadine Williams, interim director of elections for Fulton.

According to Williams, the posts violated the law that prohibits taking photos and video inside polling places, and there was concern that they posed a security threat. Fulton County then contacted the secretary of state’s office about the matter.

“For the safety for the election, we decided to remove them until we can complete the investigation,” Williams said.

Police officers are stationed at about half of the county’s 249 polling places and rotate among them to ensure the safety of voters and poll workers, Williams said.

Cathy Woolard, chair of the Fulton Election Board, said its a huge undertaking of running an election in a county with 800,000 registered voters and 3,000 volunteers, but Election Day has gone well so far.

“We expect that they will go smoothly today because we’ve anticipated as much as we can,” Woolard said. “But again, with such a large number of people voting locations, distances, there’s always the opportunity for things to not go as well as we want them to.”

1 year ago

Georgia voters breeze through polls early on Election Day

By: - 12:17 pm
Voters were breezing in and out of the Grant Park Recreational Center in Atlanta. Jill Nolin/Georgia Recorder

For all the focus on early voting this year, plenty of people will cast a ballot today on the last day to vote.

Heading into Tuesday, 2.5 million Georgians had already voted, which was 20% higher than this point in the 2018 midterm.

Genevieve McGillicuddy, an Atlanta voter, said she usually votes early but has been traveling, which left her casting a ballot Tuesday morning. She blocked off her morning to vote but it only took about five minutes for her to breeze in and out of the Grant Park Recreational Center.

McGillicuddy voted a straight Democratic ticket but is bracing for a runoff in the U.S. Senate contest, which is a prospect she finds herself dreading.

Charlie Bailey, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, was one of the candidates who waited to vote on Election Day. Jill Nolin/Georgia Recorder

“It’s another four weeks of constant ads on television and endless campaigning. If it has to be done, it has to be done,” she said.

S. Reed, who also voted at the Grant Park precinct, said she waited till Tuesday to vote out of procrastination.

She said the memory of a four-hour wait at a South Fulton polling station two years ago left her scarred so she came prepared for a long wait this time: A lawn chair and snacks were packed away in her car.

But she didn’t need them this time. She walked in and out in about 10 minutes Tuesday.

“I had everything. I was ready,” she said.

You can also count some politicians from both sides of the aisle among these Election Day voters.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who has been rallying supporters to the polls for weeks, voted with his family in Winterville.

And the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Charlie Bailey, also cast his ballot Tuesday morning.

“I’m just kind of old school. I like to vote on Election Day,” Bailey told reporters after he voted. “There’s something about the day. It’s just special.

“It’s our democracy, and it’s always felt a little bit different than any other day,” he added.

Last updated: 2:22 pm

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