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(UPDATE) DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond blasts Secretary of State over voting problems

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(UPDATE) DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond blasts Secretary of State over voting problems

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DeKalb County at 6:20 p.m. June 9 announced that voting hours were extended at several polling places. Here is the full announcement …

DECATUR, GA. – DeKalb Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie has signed an order approving a petition by the Board of Registration and Elections to extend voting hours for several polling places.

For the following polling places, voting has been extended to the indicated times:

– Narvie J. Harris Elementary, 3981 McGill Drive, Decatur—7:45 p.m.

– Clarkston Community Center, 3701 College Ave., Clarkston—7:29 p.m.

– Medlock Elementary School, 2418 Wood Trail Lane, Decatur—7:15 p.m.

– Stephenson High School, 701 Stephenson Road, Stone Mountain—7:45 p.m.

– Stephenson Middle School, 922 Stephenson Road, Stone Mountain—7:30 p.m.

– Kittredge Magnet School, 1663 East Nancy Creek Drive NE, Atlanta—9:26 p.m.

– Ray of Hope Christian Church, 2778 Snapfinger Road, Decatur—10:10 p.m.

The petition to extend the hours was made as the result of a delay in voting due to technical and logistical issues. Although voters were offered provisional ballots, this extension was requested, in an abundance of caution, to ensure that all electors at the locations have the required full 12 hours of voting.

Questions on this matter should be referred to the Registration and Elections office at 404-298-4020.

Here is our earlier story …

DeKalb County, GA — As voters on June 9 continued to put up with long lines and malfunctioning machines, county and state officials pointed fingers about who was to blame.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger pledged to investigate issues at polling places in Fulton and DeKalb Counties. Officials in his office blamed poll workers who didn’t know how to properly work the state’s new voting machines which are supposed to generate paper ballots.

Voters in Cobb and Gwinett counties experienced similar issues, and Decaturish spoke to several voters in Fulton and DeKalb counties who waited in line for hours to cast their ballots.

County CEO Michael Thurmond said the state screwed up this election, not local officials.

“The Election Day issues relating to the use of state-purchased voting machines represent an attack on the democratic process,” Thurmond said. “The Secretary of State’s office has alleged these issues resulted from a failure of county leadership. If there was a failure of leadership, it starts where the buck should stop, at the top. The eradication of any ‘learning curve’ rests squarely at the feet of the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his office.

“Therefore, I am calling on Governor Brian Kemp, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, and Speaker David Ralston to immediately launch a comprehensive, top-to-bottom investigation into voting issues, including the Secretary of State’s preparation for and administration of this election. It is the Secretary of State’s responsibility to train, prepare, and equip election staff throughout the state to ensure fair and equal access to the ballot box. Those Georgians who have been disenfranchised by the statewide chaos that has effected the voting system today in numerous DeKalb precincts and throughout the state of Georgia deserve answers.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairperson Cheri Bustos also released a blistering statement about the problems.

“We are seeing the widespread breakdown of elections across Georgia and it is disproportionately affecting Black voters and people of color,” Bustos said. “More than an embarrassment, it does irreparable harm to our democracy. From unimaginably long lines to ballot shortages to malfunctioning machines, these failures were entirely preventable. The Georgia Secretary of State had months to get it right, even after today’s election was delayed twice. Instead, Secretary of State Raffensperger and Georgia Republicans have failed their constituents by refusing to provide Georgia counties with the resources and training they need to conduct this election. This is not how our American democracy should look.”

The current election already was shaping up to be a complicated one due to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused polling places to close and resulted numerous poll workers quitting, according ot the AJC. Many people who requested an absentee ballot did not receive one and had to vote on Tuesday.

As a result, Decaturish does not anticipate being able to report the June 9 election results this evening. According to the AJC, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is threatening lawsuits if the polls do not remain open later than the usual closing time of 7 p.m.

 

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