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DeKalb, Fulton counties make changes ahead of runoff election

"We are going to set up a command center so we can get current information coming from each polling precinct," explained Samuel Tillman, DeKalb BOE Chairman.
Credit: 11Alive

ATLANTA — The June 9th primary election was plagued with long lines, malfunctioning machines along with other issues.

All while voters and poll workers tried to navigate around COVID-19, culminating into a nightmare experience at the polls in many metro counties.

“If you take away new equipment. If you take away the inability to properly train our workers because of the pandemic, we would’ve had a normal election,” said Samuel Tillman.

Tillman is the Chairman of the DeKalb County Board of Elections.  He said changes have been put into place.

“We will be opening and scanning ballots earlier. We are going to set up a command center on election day so we can get current information coming from each polling precinct,” Tillman explained.

RELATED: 2020 Georgia primary runoff election guide

He said the big difference is that equipment for each location was set-up the day before.

“When they [poll workers] go to work Tuesday morning to open the polls, they won’t have to worry about whether this item is working or whether or not this machine is turned on,” mentioned Tillman.

We recently spoke to the Fulton County Elections Director, Richard Barron, and he said they've come a long way since June.

Barron said their biggest problems came from the pandemic with the limited number of polling locations and trying to safely train poll workers.

“We’ve added more polling places and we are managing our absentee by mail process differently,” explained Barron.

RELATED: List | Here's what measures were taken in Fulton County to make voting a better experience today

He said the county expanded early voting sites ahead of the runoff and put an emphasis on in-person training for poll workers.

“We are committed to in-person training this election,” stated Barron.

Both DeKalb and Fulton counties said there will also be technicians for each polling site.  Both counties told 11Alive will also be implemented for the November election.

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