Broken voting machines, long lines under scrutiny in Georgia


ATLANTA (AP) - Malfunctioning voting machines, missing power cords and hourslong lines at the polls are being scrutinized by candidates and election officials in Georgia, where the governor's race is undecided while votes are still being tallied.

Democrat Stacey Abrams, vying to become the nation's first female black governor, trails Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the state's chief elections official. Ballots are still being counted, and Abrams' campaign thinks she may have enough for a runoff.

At a news conference Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he heard the voting process was "very efficient" in Georgia. But some areas of metro Atlanta that typically lean Democratic experienced problems and delays.

Ontaria Woods arrived at a polling place in Snellville, just northeast of Atlanta, about 7 a.m. Tuesday to vote. More than three hours later, she was still waiting, with roughly 75 to 100 people in line.

"That's the majority of people in this line, African-Americans," she said. "We're begging them, 'Please, stay.'"

Some of the longest lines formed at polling places near historically black colleges in Atlanta.

"We have a lot of college students over there, and they like to vote out of precinct," said Richard Barron, director of registration and elections in Fulton County, home to most of Atlanta.

"When you vote out of your precinct, you have to vote a provisional ballot," he said. "And provisional ballots create lines because they take longer to process."

Courts ordered extended voting hours in two polling sites near the colleges. The last voter from those sites cast a ballot about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Barron said.

The elections chief wasn't immune to the difficulties: When Kemp went to cast his ballot, he had an issue with his voter card, but it was fixed quickly.