In Atlanta, residents take their place in line to cast their votesFILE PHOTO USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSESFulton County voters got a huge “thank you” for casting their early ballots at State Farm Arena. CREDIT MARIA WHITE TILLMAN / WABE
Atlanta, GA — The chance to cast ballots on Georgia’s first day of in-person early voting Monday had thousands of people waiting for hours to make their voices heard.
At the home of the Atlanta Hawks, State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta is the largest early voting location, with 300 voting machines.
Only voters registered in Fulton County can cast their ballot at State Farm Arena.
With a record turnout expected across Georgia for this year’s presidential election and fears about exposure to the coronavirus, election officials and advocacy groups have been encouraging people to vote early — either in person or by absentee ballot.
WABE’s “Morning Edition,” with host Lisa Rayam, broadcast live from the arena Monday morning and spoke to Arpan Patel, a poll assistant manager.
Patel said his team is ready for a good influx of people casting their ballots at the arena.
Voter Courtnie Owens stopped by the WABE workspace at State Farm Arena and spoke to Rayam.
Owens said she came out to the polls Monday morning because the handling of the pandemic and social injustice are two of the reasons that she is passionate about voting in this election.
“This election specifically is personal to me,” Owens said. “And we say each election is the most important election. But this is, in fact, the most important election for us personally because we have so much at stake.”
Across the state, there are in-person voting locations now up and running.
Voters can cast their early ballots in the county in which they’re registered. Most metro Atlanta in-person voting locations will be open most days between now and Oct. 30.
Voters can confirm their Georgia voter registration here.
This story was provided by WABE.
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