ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 09: People wait in line to vote in Georgia's Primary Election on June 9, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia, West Virginia, South Carolina, North Dakota, and Nevada are holding primaries amid the coroanvirus pandemic (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

2020 Elections: Concerns are growing for November after the disastrous primary in Georgia

But the country’s inability to prepare and correct it underscores many election officials, activists, and experts on the need to rapidly increase funding, preparedness, and training before the November general elections.

As Congress stops funding and additional support for countries trying to prepare for November 3, warning signs are building up and time running out. Now, a senior federal electoral official has called on lawmakers to act quickly to provide additional funding to states.

“The election officials I’m talking to are aware of the challenges, but I also know and I can see real resource challenges, employment challenges and voter education challenges, and all of these things cost money,” said Ben Huffland, President of the US Elections. commission. “The $ 400 million in CARES is a big problem but I think the costs will be much higher.

“From the election officials I am talking to, the need is clear,” he said.

After the postponement of the primary elections twice, it appears that Georgia is still stuck steadily due to problems related to Covid-19. Polling sites changed in some provinces at the last minute, after polling sites withdrew due to the Coruna virus.

Shannon Delon Johnson, polling operator in Atlanta, was moved to a new polling site 15 minutes before the polls are due to open.

Dillon Johnson told CNN: “No one told me to come here until 6:42 am after I was already in my grades since 5:57.” “I call my bosses via email to them, then we get a phone call. Because it was like a line from us wandering in search of where we’re supposed to go.”

Voters at many polling stations across the state reported late opening times. Georgia’s problems were exacerbated by the fact that the country introduced new voting machines that were unfamiliar to both voters and poll workers, causing further delays.

Atlanta election officials also rushed to replace polling workers who were unable or unwilling to work during the epidemic.

The result was that in the densely populated parts of the state, the long streaks of blocs spanned and voters waited hours for their votes. Some voters waited in line until one in the morning on election night for a chance to vote.

The effect of voters on color

Similar scenes have emerged in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin, where officials have been arrested, unprepared for the number of voters casting their ballots personally.

Gabriel said: “The truth of what you see in Georgia today is a sign that Coffed is very much. We lost many polling stations because it was summer time so schools closed, churches were chosen, and VFW halls disappeared.” Stirling, director of state statewide voting implementation. “In Fulton County specifically, they lost 40 sites and many of those sites collapsed in huge areas that saw so many of those amazing long lines.”

The problems also fit the pattern, noted before ResearchersFrom long lines, last-minute site changes and voting machine issues seem to have a greater impact on minority communities.

“Continuously on the black polling sites and he went one after the other, including my site,” said Latosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, who also faced a three-hour wait for a vote on Tuesday. ‚ÄúPeople were in the queue for four or five hours – the machines didn’t get ready until 12:30 pm.

Indeed, data on postal voting requests in Georgia showed that more white voters requested absentee ballots than black, Asian, and Latino voters, indicating that colored voters are more likely to choose to vote in person, Brennan Center Analysis Mail in the voting request data.

When they did on Tuesday, they faced long lines and long delays.

“This is a giant siren,” said Myrna Perez, director of the Brennan Voting and Elections program. “This means that the quality of the daily experience means more to societies that did not vote by mail. This was not done.”

“It will be repression,” Peres said.

Challenges related to mail voting

Georgia’s experience also indicates that new states and other jurisdictions to vote by mail will likely face similar challenges as they seek to rapidly increase capacity for November.

In Georgia, some voters reported confusion over the instructions that came with their ballot indicating an “inner cover” that was not provided.

Runbeck Election Services, which the state contracted to e-mail the ballot papers, told CNN that the reference was a mistake caused by poor communication between the company and state election officials who were less fluent in mailing details to the ballot papers.

“It was just a lack of understanding between the two parties, in Ronnebeck as well as the state, well, that’s what it really means. And that has created some confusion,” said Jeff Ellington, chief of operations and chief operating officer of Runbeck.

Stacy Abrams, who after failing to run for the governor of Georgia, supporters of voter oppression cases, said she faced a different problem in her polling.

“Although I applied early in the process when I finally arrived, the return envelope was closed,” Abrams told CBS News. “I tried to open it because I saw a lot of” Perry Mason. “It didn’t work, so I had to vote personally.”

“This is a complete breakdown and the secretary of state’s office failed,” Abrams said.

The state received nearly 1.6 million absentee ballots – many times more than usual during the primary elections. Provincial officials were overwhelmed and slow to process many requests.

“I will tell you where the biggest crash was, in my opinion, how long did it take us to process the absentee ballot requests,” said Fulton County Commissioner Lise Howzman. “People got these application form forms six to eight weeks ago. So when they didn’t get a response, and couldn’t figure out what happened to their request, they had no confidence that they could respond in time even if they got it.”

She added: “Many of the people I spoke to today would not have line up if they repeated this poll.”

Fulton County employee Shay Moss scans ballot papers at the Georgia International Convention Center during the Georgia primary in Atlanta on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Atlanta voters Kate Haussmann and Stephen Reid said they submitted absentee ballot requests in mid-April via email, but they received a response acknowledging their request for the first time a few days before Tuesday’s elections. In the end, they did not receive their votes and did not vote personally after waiting two hours in line.

“The most frustrating thing is that we both emailed our requests very early,” said Reid.

County Commissioner Haussmann said that county election officials had made a decision to address e-mail poll requests in the past. It claims that 8,000 of these apps are “lost”.

Concerns about the US Postal Service

The workforce has emerged as a major concern for election day. The majority of survey workers are elderly – the most vulnerable to coronavirus infection. Like Georgia, many will face the challenge of finding alternative workers and will need to increase the number of employees to process polling applications in the weeks leading up to Election Day.

Georgia officials say that one week before Election Day, their records showed that nearly all (96%) of the required ballot papers had been submitted. More were delivered in the last days before election day. However, many voters reported never receiving them – in some cases, two people from the same family submitted ballot requests but only one was delivered.

The US Postal Service has insisted that it is prepared to deal with an increase in the size of electoral mail, but doubts – especially among voters – still remain on whether the postal service can be relied upon to deal with ballot papers.

There were isolated reports in Wisconsin From the polls that were found after the election. It is unclear whether any postal ballot papers were lost in Georgia. But while some states that have worked to implement mail voting for years have designed a solution to track polling, the most recent states to vote by mail are behind the curve

“There were legislative talks about USPS creating end-to-end tracking” for election mail, said Hovland, Electoral Assistance Commissioner. “This is definitely something I would like to see in its place.”

He added: “We have the ability to do that, and relatively speaking, it wouldn’t be costly to have a system like that that was put in the USPS.”

Even as Election Day went smoothly, many election officials agreed on one thing: a flood of mailing polls, provisional polls, and longer early voting periods, would make scheduling results on election night slow. Too slow so results may not be known for days after the final ballots are cast.

In Georgia, one day before Election Day, the state said that nearly 600,000 absent ballot papers that were requested and mailed to voters are still pending. State officials have no way of knowing how many of these voters have decided to cast their ballots personally or whether these polls have not been addressed or not cast by voters.

As the sunrise on the day after the elections, the final results remained unknown.

Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect the amount of money in the CARES law.

Diane Gallagher from CNN and Pamela Kirkland co-wrote this article.

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