Four Precincts in Gwinnett Go Down on Election Day

(NOTE: Machines are now working at Anniston Elementary.) Electronic voting machines in four Gwinnett County polling locations malfunctioned on Election Day, county officials said Tuesday. The yellow cards that voters use to record their votes on each machine were not working with the machines, said Gwinnett County spokesman Joe Sorenson.

Annistown Elementary and Suwanee public library in Suwanee, Harbins Elementary in Dacula and Mount Vernon Baptist in Duluth all had the problem, he said.

Voters were given paper ballots in lieu of an electronic vote. The paper ballots will be considered “regular votes” and not treated as provisional ballots, unless the voter would have otherwise required a provisional ballot, Sorenson said.

Harbins Elementary — Harbins A precinct — is in the 10th congressional district held by Rep. Jody Hice, State Sen. P.K. Martin’s 9th senate district and State Rep. Chuck Efstration’s 104th district, contested by Democrat Andrea Stephenson.

Mount Vernon Baptist — Lawrenceville F — is in the strongly-contested 7th district held by Rep. Rob Woodall, challenged by Democrat Carolyn Bordeaux. It’s also in Martin’s district, and is in former state representative (and GeorgiaPol contributor) Buzz Brockway’s 102nd district, a contest between Democrat Gregg Kennard and Republican Paula Hastings.

Both Suwanee Library and Anniston Elementary — Rockbridge A and G — are is in Rep. Hank Johnson’s 4th congressional district, as well as State Sen. Gloria Butler and State Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick’s seats.

Of Gwinnett County’s 153 precincts, 16 have more than 1,700 black registered voters … including Anniston Elementary and Suwanee Library. Anniston Elementary has the largest number of black voters registered at any precinct in Gwinnett. Suwanee Library is sixth-highest in black voters.

Postscript: I don’t want to level accusations simply based on circumstances. But I want to make a note of the circumstances for future reference.

Georgia’s segregation patterns are deep and broad and voting patterns are racially identifiable here — 90 percent of black voters cast Democratic ballots. While there might be a half a million black voters on this Election Day, I suspect that more than half of them live in fewer than 200 precincts around Georgia. While many live in Fulton and DeKalb and Macon and Savannah, or in the Black Belt communities of middle Georgia, many others live in places like Cobb and Gwinnett — counties with Republican political control.

Mechanically, it would not take a massive effort to materially damage black voting power in a close election like this. If 25 of those precincts had unexpected “equipment failures” today, and that resulted in, say, one in five of those voters being discouraged from voting, that’s about 6,000 fewer votes for Democrats. That would shave about two-tenths of a percent off of her vote totals. Given how close things appear to be, that could be significant.

So, we look for a pattern. I sincerely hope the ACLU and NAACP make a survey of election issues like this for the after action review.

The question for later: Sorenson said to the AJC that these things happen “all the time.” Gwinnett thus has some known equipment issues.

But the bad equipment just … happened … to end up at two polling places with nearly four thousand black voters between them. Who decides which cards go to which polling places? I have known the election director, Lynn Ledford in Gwinnett, for more than a decade and found her to be solid over the years, but she can’t watch everyone. If some junior staffer decided to get ambitious, and made sure the crap cards all went to Snellville …

I’ve asked them the question. We shall see.

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xdog
xdog

Brian Kemp is on the mother.

Will Durant
Will Durant

Like white on rice.

Benevolus
Benevolus

I have some AA family friends reporting that they have been purged from voter roll in Athens.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Yeah, but Mike says voter suppression isn’t a thing.

I hope they asked for provisional ballots.

Indypendant
Indypendant

What does their drinking problem have to do with anything?

Gregs
Gregs

I thought AA stood for All American!

Benevolus
Benevolus

If you know of someone having trouble voting:
They should ask for a provisional ballot.
If they want to report a problem: Call 866-OUR-VOTE or Text “Our Vote” to 97779
There also may be poll watchers at the precinct they can consult with, or at least have a witness.
More info:
https://866ourvote.org/state/georgia/

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I hope the people who left are able to come back and cast a ballot. At the very least, hours at the impacted polling locations should be extended so they have every opportunity to do so.

chamblee54
chamblee54

https://twitter.com/chamblee54/status/1059874369055453187
@AymanM NBC News has confirmed that the issue at Anderson Livsey Elementary in Snellville, GA was indeed a lack of power cords. Gwinnett County Director of Communications Joe Sorenson tells @NBCNews “the machine was not supplied power and was running on battery & the battery ran out”
Does Anderson Livsey Elementary feed into Brookwood High School? Is there a connection to the marching band incident last week?

Will Durant
Will Durant

While I’m all for wallowing in a good conspiracy plot, this is a reach Stretch Armstrong couldn’t make. The Brookwood Band thing was just juveniles being juveniles much like writing a four-letter word on the bathroom wall. The racial breakdown on the 4 offenders consist of two of whom are black, one of whom is Asian, and one of whom is Hispanic, and to a person said it was intended as a joke. While it may not sound like a joke to adults I remember being a band geek and doing some really stupid stuff myself, luckily mine didn’t make… Read more »