It appears that Brian Kemp almost suppressed his own ability to vote. The Georgia gubernatorial candidate — who also serves as the state’s secretary of state, meaning he oversees the state’s election system — has long been under fire for his voter suppression tactics. Polling just about dead even with Democrat Stacey Abrams, Kemp has withstood fierce criticism, as well as multiple lawsuits, as he has refused to recuse himself from overseeing his own election. Last month, Rolling Stone obtained audio of Kemp expressing concern over Georgia exercising their right to vote. On Tuesday, he was barely even able to exercise the right himself. When he showed up just after 2 p.m. ET to cast his vote in Winterville, Georgia, his voter card was invalid.
Kemp isn’t the only Georgian who had trouble at the polls on Tuesday. Reports surfaced throughout the day of lengthy waits caused by various technical issues.
The line to vote at Anderson-Livesy Middle School in Snellvillle off Centerville Highway stretches the length of the school.
“It’s like waiting on line at Six Flags,” one voter said pic.twitter.com/dPivZjYq66
— Amanda Coyne (@AmandaCCoyne) November 6, 2018
A voter sent me this video from inside the Annistown Elementary polling location in Gwinnett County. Poll workers are telling voters that the voting machines are NOT WORKING. County officials tell me, they're trying to fix the problem.@wsbtv #Election2018 #ElectionOn2 pic.twitter.com/vwtqlqDJ9y
— Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) November 6, 2018
As of 11:30EST, the line has started moving. More than 4 hrs after the polls opened. I just hope the people who left come back 😒 #Vote
— Terri Durham (@Teedurful) November 6, 2018
— Aungelique Proctor (@aungeliquefox5) November 6, 2018
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that voting machines in four Gwinnett County polling locations went down, forcing voters to use paper ballots. NBC News later reported that voting machines at a fifth location were not functional because “the machine was not supplied power and was running on battery & the battery ran out.” No power cords were on hand, and voters were forced to wait until the machines were fixed.
The Abrams camp blamed Kemp for the delays. “We’re incredibly inspired by how many Georgians are turning out to vote and are staying in line to cast their ballot, despite the fact that some polling locations were not properly prepared by the secretary of state’s office,” spokesperson Abigail Collazo wrote in a text message to the New York Times.
Despite struggling to cast his own ballot, Kemp didn’t seem to think there was an issue. “It’s been very smooth all day long,” he said of the voting process, according to the Times. “We’re getting the normal questions of people calling asking where do they go vote, are they registered. Nothing unusual at all.”