ATLANTA — Nearly 4 million people already cast their ballot in Georgia. But Tuesday is expected to have huge voter turnouts across the country. There may be issues, inconveniences, or confusion at voting locations.
11Alive talked to voting rights groups to help voters be prepared.
The first thing voting advocates recommended is remain calm and patient. As voters have seen with the summer election and early voting, lines will be long, due to high turnout and COVID precautions counties will follow.
But before you even head out to cast your vote, make sure you double check you’re headed to the right place to vote.
Nse Ufot with New Georgia Project said there’s been last minute polling location changes, especially in Fulton and Gwinnet Counties; some of which are due to power outages from Zeta. So, double check so you don’t spend hours in line only to be told you’re at the wrong place.
“Not only check the Secretary of State’s website but to double check it with the county Board of Elections website,” said Ufot.
If you’re in the right county, but at the wrong precinct, see if you have time to make it to your correction precinct.
If not, Nancy Abudu, Deputy Legal Director of Voting Rights for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said you can still vote at the incorrect precinct, but only for elections you’re eligible to vote in.
When it comes to the new machines Georgians are voting on, if you experience issues with machines or the machines are down for a long time, Abudu said voters can ask for a paper ballot.
“They have a right to cast a paper ballot that will be automatically counted without them having to do any more on their end.”
Should you run into issues and would like to report them, Ufot and Abudu said go ahead and program this number into your phone. 1-866-OUR-VOTE; the number for the Election Protections Hotline.
“There are literally thousands of lawyers that are manning the Election Protection Hotline and many of them are dedicated to Georgia because Georgia is America’s new battleground state,” said Ufot. “Minor inconveniences to major crazy stuff that you know should not be happening, again, 866-OUR-VOTE.”
Ufot also said there will be hundreds of volunteers ready to assist voters in person.
“We will bring pizzas, we will bring folding chairs, we will bring water.”
If you need a ride to the poll, LFYT, Uber, and churches will have discounts or rides available for you. New Georgia project is also offering rides polls in Augusta, Albany, Savannah, Macon, metro Atlanta. For Fulton County, New Georgia Project will have LFYT codes available for people through a partnership with the Atlanta Falcons. Call 1-877-874-1541 for New Georgia Project’s rides.
Finally, remember these things; eat before you go. You cannot bring a weapon to vote. Check parking instructions before you leave your car. And of course, if you are in line to vote by 7PM, you have the right to vote even when the polls close.