Georgia voters endure long lines and broken voting machines as Democrats seek to flip Senate

Georgia voters go to the polls.
Georgia voters go to the polls. (Alyssa Pointer/AP)

Georgia Democrats headed to the polls Tuesday in a chaotic primary for president and to pick a candidate for what could be a marquee matchup in their push to retake the Senate.
Lines snaking for blocks around polling places and widespread malfunctions of new voting machines in heavily Democratic Atlanta marred the vote taking place under the pall of the coronavirus pandemic.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms major problems at in-person polling places as voting got under way in the heavily Democratic city.
“Line is out to the street ... and their machines are not working either,” Bottoms tweeted.
State Rep. William Boddie called it a “complete meltdown” in Fulton County, Georgia’s most populous county.
Democrats blamed the chaos on Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, suggesting that the GOP would be happy if relatively few voters cast ballots in Democratic strongholds.
Joe Biden, the presumptive presidential nominee, was looking to pad his delegate lead with an expected rout over insurgent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who folded his campaign but is still on the ballot.
Jon Ossoff, 33, who narrowly lost a 2017 special election for a suburban Atlanta House of Representatives seat, is battling two other main contenders for the right to take on Republican Sen. David Perdue in November.
Although Georgia has been controlled by the GOP for years, Democrats believe they have a shot at unseating Perdue, especially as anger at President Trump rises.
Democrats likely need to flip at least four seats to retake control of the Senate where the GOP holds a 53-47 edge.
The election was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and unprecedented numbers are voting by absentee ballots. Many polling places were closed leading to long lines at those that were open.
Voting woes have caused major problems in nearly every state that has voted since the pandemic struck, leading to widespread concerns about the general elections in the fall.
West Virginia voters also headed to the polls but there were few closely contested races there.
A second Georgia seat is also up for grabs after Sen. Kelly Loeffler was appointed to replace ailing GOP Sen. Johnnie Isakson.
Loeffler, who has faced criticism over her sale of stocks just before the coronavirus pandemic hit, will face a stiff challenge from fellow Republican Rep. Doug Collins and several Democrats.
All the candidates in that race will be on the ballot in November, and the top two finishers will battle in a run-off election weeks later.

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