FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Stories of long lines are far from unheard of in metro Atlanta, but paired with new voting equipment and a pandemic, Georgia has received national criticism for its June 9 election.
Because of COVID-19, about 40 polling places in Fulton County were moved or combined, creating confusion and long waits for some, even as hundreds of thousands of voters made use of early or absentee voting.
Furthermore, for most poll workers yesterday was the first time operating the state’s new voting machines. A number of sites experienced technical challenges throughout the day. The Superior Court of Fulton County ordered the extension of voting hours from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Wednesday night, Jon Ossoff declared victory in the Democratic primary to decide who will challenge U.S. Sen. David Perdue this November. With 51 percent of the vote, Ossoff narrowly avoided a runoff with the runner up, former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, who garnered 15 percent.
Former U.S. Rep. Karen Handel beat out four competitors to be the Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, which includes north Fulton and parts of DeKalb and Cobb counties. November’s race will be a rematch; Democrat U.S. Rep Lucy McBath ousted Handel from the seat in 2018.
State Sen. Brandon Beach, who briefly was in the running for the U.S. House seat, won a decisive victory against his challenger, Michael Caldwell. Carrying 76 percent of the vote as of Wednesday morning, he will likely continue to represent District 21, which covers north Alpharetta, all of Milton and much of Cherokee County. No one filed on the Democratic ticket.
In District 56, incumbent Republican State Sen. John Albers will face Democrat Sarah Beeson in November. Both were unopposed in the primary. District 56 includes Roswell, southern portions of Alpharetta and Milton, and roughly the area west of Jones Bridge Road in Johns Creek.
In District 48, doctor Michelle Au received around 75 percent of the vote, beating Josh Uddin to be the Democrat vying to represent east Johns Creek and parts of Gwinnett County. Attorney Matt Reeves will be running on the Republican ticket.
Most state house races in North Fulton did not have contested primaries. One exception was District 49, which includes most of Alpharetta and a sliver of northwest Johns Creek.
Incumbent State Rep. Chuck Martin was unopposed on the Republican side. For Democrats, Alpharetta physician Jason Hayes appears to have beat out Ken Lawler 58 percent to 42.
For the Fulton County Board of Education District 1, incumbent Katha Stuart was unopposed.
For the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, Republican incumbent Bob Ellis faced no primary challenge for his district seat, which represents Milton and portions of Alpharetta, Roswell and Sandy Springs. Ellis will square off in November against Democrat Justin Holsomback.
For Fulton County Sheriff, Incumbent Ted Jackson, who received about 40 percent of the vote, will have to compete in a runoff against Pat Labat or Myron Freeman, who each have received about 22 percent of the vote as of Wednesday morning.
The runoff would be August 11, 2020. Those wishing to vote in that election would have to register to vote or update their voter registration by July 13.