Officials address Election Day issues in 2 Georgia counties

Georgia News

ATLANTA (WSAV) – Election officials in Georgia say technical issues at polling locations in two counties are being investigated.

Election Day in Morgan and Spalding counties hasn’t been smooth sailing.

In a press conference early Tuesday afternoon, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said a data set issue is likely to blame, but a full review will be conducted to determine the exact cause.

“Quick answer is: we don’t know,” said Voting System Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling when asked why only these counties were impacted.

“Four of the seven precincts in Morgan are back up to regular order and eight of the 18 in Spalding are back to regular order,” he explained, “but every polling location has voters voting right now.”

Sterling said Georgia has not had any malware or cybersecurity threats on Election Day.

He added that the counties’ issues were “outside of the realm” of the on-site technicians’ ability to fix and required additional equipment that was delivered to the counties.

“We’re going to find out why it happened so we can make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Sterling said.

Decisions on extending hours at polling locations are up to the counties.

Spalding County decided to extend hours until 9 p.m. Atlanta news outlets report Morgan County will not extend hours.

As for election returns, Raffensperger said Georgia will see results Tuesday night for many races.

“Well, we won’t have results at 7:01, but you will have them over the course of the evening,” he added. “And to that point, the counties have done an excellent job of making sure that they scan those absentee ballots and so they were really current up until Election Day.”

He and Sterling said that with the new voting system (scanning results vs. transferring results from a memory card), counting could take more time.

Sterling explained that advanced voting isn’t in the Election Management System yet. Counties will decide how they want to send in results from election night.

So, could Georgia be waiting until Wednesday or Thursday to see results in all races?

“It really depends on what is the difference of the vote, and then the extended absentee ballots, so we’ll get that out as soon as we can,” Raffensperger said. “We know how important it is.”

Raffensperger said results will be available on the Election Night Reporting page of the secreatry of state’s website. WSAV News 3 will provide updates on Your Local Election Headquarters as well.

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