As in-person early voting got underway in Georgia Monday, stories and posts swirled on social media and news websites about how people had to wait several hours in line in order to cast their votes in the presidential and down-ballot elections.
Because of the numerous reports of long wait times, a number of high-profile Democrats rushed to the Twitter machine to proclaim – without evidence – that this was just more evidence of that alleged Georgia voter suppression that failed 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams has been
lying talking about for the past two years.
Here are a couple of examples:
This is a picture of voter suppression. Why do Americans have to wait in lines this long? This is the line in Suwannee Georgia today to vote. pic.twitter.com/rHl4Gr5kEi
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) October 12, 2020
We've become all too familiar with the sight of unacceptably long lines in Georgia's elections. No one should ever have to wait hours to cast their vote.
This is voter suppression. https://t.co/JzaENHMq6r
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 14, 2020
Former Sen. McCaskill’s tweet has over 50,000 RTs as of this writing. Sen. Booker’s has close to 1,500. There are many more where that came from.
The problem with this line of attack is that not only flat out tiresome, but it’s also flat out wrong, according to election experts:
“I’d be concerned if I didn’t see long lines,” said David Becker, executive director and founder for the Center for Election Innovation & Research.
Rather, long lines at the beginning of early voting are a sign that voters are enthusiastic about participating in the election, Becker told BuzzFeed News, adding that every person that votes early is one less person who could be stuck in line on election night.
“Today might be an anomaly because it’s the first day of early voting and people are excited and it’s a holiday,” said Josh Douglas, an election law and voting rights professor at the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law.
Douglas warned voters not to “jump to conclusions about whether this is some sort of intentional effort at voter suppression.”
Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman also chimed in to counter the bogus claims of Democrats like McCaskill and Booker:
1) Gwinnett Co., GA has *nine* advance voting centers open 9-12 hours a day, including weekends, between 10/12 and 10/30
2) This is the first day of in-person voting in the highest-enthusiasm election in GA history
Let's give it a few days before jumping to conclusions. https://t.co/BPjb4hIvvF
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) October 12, 2020
McCaskill saw his tweet and conceded his point. But she didn’t delete her original tweet, of course, because she enjoys the RTs and likes too much to be an honest person when it comes to issues related to electoral integrity:
Everyone waiting in line in this video also has the option of voting by mail (via either USPS or dropbox), early voting on another day when lines are expected to be much shorter, or voting on Election Day at their regular polling place.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) October 13, 2020
In addition to what the election experts mentioned, there’s also the fact that there was record turnout in Georgia for the first day of early voting, which naturally means lines will be longer. Not only that, but everyone has to be spaced out 6 feet per recommended CDC guidelines to reduce the possibility of a Wuhan virus outbreak. This makes lines look – and feel – even longer.
Plus, voting machines are wiped down after each use due to COVID concerns, which means wait times are going to be longer while precinct workers take care of that responsibility.
There were also some technical difficulties at some of the locations, which made the process more trying for precinct workers and voters alike.
Standing in long lines stinks. I get it. But this idea that people shouldn’t have to wait in long lines to vote is nonsense, and the idea that having to do so is an automatic indicator of “voter suppression” is double nonsense.
It’d be nice if Democrats like McCaskill, Booker, and all the rest who made the false claims on Monday and Tuesday would actually, ya know, wait for the facts instead of jumping to conclusions.
But considering they’ve been deliberately trying to undermine elections for the last four years because Orange Man Bad, we – sadly – should not really expect anything better from these shamelessly dishonest clowns.