Georgia election officials gearing up for the Nov. 3 general election will have help from big-name companies to troubleshoot technical issues and a new real-time tool that tracks the wait in line at local polling places.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told members of the Atlanta Press Club Tuesday the new real-time tracker will let voters see wait times on Election Day and help officials pinpoint any polling places that may be experiencing issues so they can be resolved.
Raffensperger’s office is also working with groups like the Coca-Cola Company and AT&T to train employees as technical-support workers able to diagnose and fix issues that crop up with voting machines on Election Day.
Those initiatives, combined with a push to recruit thousands of poll workers and the launch of an online portal to request absentee ballots, are creating confidence that Georgia may see a better Election Day experience in November than occurred in the line-plagued June 9 primary.
“We have a very robust plan of action for the November election cycle,” Raffensperger said Tuesday. “I think we’re much better prepared.”
Georgia is poised for record voter turnout in the Nov. 3 general election with a presidential contest, two U.S. Senate seats, congressional, state and local offices all on the ballot.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also inspiring huge interest in absentee ballots. So far, around 1.1 million Georgians have requested mail-in ballots and started receiving them this week.
Along with masks and gloves for poll workers, local precincts will feature new plexiglass screens purchased and donated by companies that aim to add more of a buffer between poll workers and voters for social distancing.
Companies like Coca-Cola, AT&T, Delta Air Lines and the Atlanta Hawks are working with the nonpartisan group GaVotingWorks to provide tech support, donate plexiglass screens and purchase more absentee ballot drop-off boxes for counties.
Jennifer Dorian, the co-founder of GaVotingWorks, said the collaborative effort reflects a growing interest among companies to participate in civic duty by pitching in more resources during the virus-troubled election cycle.
“We’re finding companies are a vital resource that can talk to employees as well as all Georgians,” Dorian said Tuesday.
Early voting for the general election starts Oct. 12. The online portal to request an absentee ballot is found at https://ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov/.