ATLANTA (WSAV) – Long wait times at precincts are not stopping Georgia voters from casting their ballots.
During a press conference Wednesday morning, Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced over 700,000 Georgians have had their votes counted. He said that’s 10 percent of the state’s registered voters.
“Georgia voters are excited and setting records every hour,” said Raffensperger.
Raffensperger said 1.6 million voters have requested absentee ballots and nearly 500,000 have already submitted them.
On the first day of early voting, Georgia voters broke the prior record of 90,000. Roughly 128,000 Georgia voters turned out on Monday, which could be a sign of what’s to come.
“We are working with the counties on what we think will be a record turnout for Election Day on Nov. 3,” Raffensperger said. He added: “128,000 people is manageable, but when they all show up at 7 a.m. it is high capacity.”
Watch the secretary of state’s full press conference:
Raffensperger said the state plans to deploy more equipment and extra workers to avoid issues seen in the primaries.
As for complaints about long lines at the polls, the secretary of state said that social distancing is a factor.
“If you look at the lines, they look long because everyone is spaced 6 feet apart and that makes it look longer,” he said. “It also takes longer because the machines have to be cleaned and wiped down It’s slower and cumbersome because of the pandemic.”
He said poll workers will check temperatures and could turn away voters if they show signs of COVID-19, asking them to come back at a later time.
Raffensperger also addressed a bandwidth issue on the database used to check people in. He said his office is working with a vendor to resolve the issue by the end of the week.
As of Wednesday, 241,706 voters cast their vote in person during early voting in Georgia.
The secretary of state hopes Georgians continue to take advantage of both early voting and absentee ballots to avoid large crowds come Election Day.
“What I would really encourage is that the 1.6 million people who requested absentee ballots, actually came in, and people didn’t show up in person,” Raffensperger said.