Local leaders focus on ensuring integrity of voting in runoffs

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 6:33 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Election officials in the CSRA have learned so much since Nov. 3 and the subsequent recount.

Since then, they’ve been checking machines, making sure poll workers understand the process, and verifying overall security.

All of it matters even more after claims of election integrity being at stake.

Even on a day where the sun is mostly hidden, Roy Walker manages to find the light. He’s excited to cast yet another ballot in his lifetime.

“I’ve been voting for about 20, 30 years,” Walker said.

He has trouble keeping his balance, but the 76-year-old says no obstacle will keep him from standing up for what’s right.

“Represent the world, the world that I’m living in, my surroundings. So it can get better, not worse,” Walker said.

Early voting ran smoothly if you ask voters on Monday. Most people were in and out within 20 minutes.

“I don’t see any concerns as far as security,” Walker said.

That’s something the Secretary of State’s office agrees with.

“We gave seen no issues, no mechanical issues, no line issues,” Gabriel Sterling with the Secretary of State’s office said.

To keep the issues at a minimum, we found counties are focusing efforts on improvements.

In the last few weeks, the local board of elections says they’ve run tests on voting equipment and prepped poll workers in order to avoid any holds up like the Election Day technical delays we saw at the Mount Vernon Baptist precinct.

Officials also plan to improve ballot count efficiency. It’s why workers will scan and process early and absentee ballots at least a week before Jan. 5.

“This one matters more because all eyes are on Georgia,” voter Gayla Keesee said. “We decide control of the Senate.”

With control of the Senate on the line, a historic voter turnout is expected for this runoff. It’s a historic turnout for poll watchers too. Officials say they expect thousands across the state from both Republican and Democratic parties to oversee ballot counting.

From the motorcades to the rallies, Richmond County advocates asked the community to have faith in the voting system and a commitment to being a part of it.

“This is one of those other things that just as important as the presidential election,” voter Quantavious Ealy said.

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