Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Adams was joined by civil rights icon Jesse Jackson as she held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, November 6, to urge supporters – who in many cases were stalled for hours – to stay on line and vote in spite of what failures in logistics, technical difficulties, and suspect registration hurdles they may face.
Market Watch reports that numerous districts around the Peach State were already facing allegations of voter suppression by midday, with the most widespread dysfunctions happening in the Democratic strongholds and politically shifting areas surrounding Atlanta. At at least one backed up location in Snellville, more than 100 people wound up sitting on the ground and squeezing into elementary school chairs due to problems with voter access cards. Another polling site’s failure to open on time caused lines to stretch, while malfunctioning machines at a couple of other Gwinnett County polls forced volunteers to hand out paper ballots.
One particularly troubling case involved citizens spending their entire day at the Helene S. Mills Senior Multipurpose Facility because of faulty and missing power chords. And perhaps the most alarming experience saw scores of people packing the Pittman Park Recreation Center, which had only been supplied with three machines. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the controversy would cause such an uproar that word got around to Rev. Jackson, who took to Facebook to call the matter “a classic example of voter suppression, denying people easy access to exercise their right to vote.” Thanks to his response, staffers were eventually sent five additional machines, but unfortunately, many picked up and left after waiting around for too long.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 6, 2018
Voting machines with missing power cords force hundreds of black Georgia voters to wait https://t.co/iIYE3eQMJf
— Raw Story (@RawStory) November 6, 2018
The incident even motivated Jackson to head out and join Abrams at the Busy Bee Cafe to address, where he sent out a message via the reporters who were on hand. “If Mandela can stand in line for 27 years, they can wait 4 hours,” he said.
For her part, Abrams remained confident that the people of the state will come through for her – going so far as to predict victory in spite of any setbacks or attempts to suppress the vote.
“There’s been extraordinary energy everywhere. Lines across the state and that means there’s heavy turnout and that’s a good sign,” Abrams said before pitching a direct plea for voters who may have left their assigned sites early to return and thick it out past the 7:00 p.m. closing time if need be.
“I believe if we overwhelm the system with our turnout, if we demonstrate the capacity of Georgia to show up, then any shenanigans that might be happening will be discovered and will be taken care of,” she said. “I predict we will win!”