It wasn’t your typical Election Day in Walker County
WALKER COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) – Tuesday was Election Day during the coronavirus pandemic.
And, It was different.
“I wore my mask to protect myself. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t catch any germs and I have hand sanitizer in my car for when I get done voting, but I’m glad that we are still able to come and vote,” voter Hannah Stevens said.
For the majority of voters in Walker County, it was their first time casting their ballots on new voting machines.
“For me, it was a breeze,” voter Mary Hadley said. “I’m older and a lot of older people do not like something new, but this was just a simple thing.”
The Secretary of State sent letters to Georgia residents solicitation mail-in ballots.
In Walker County, around 9,000 people requested ballots.
The county received at least around 6,000 of those ballots.
However, many folks like Linda Matthews chose not to vote that way, instead casting their ballots in person.
“Well, I’ve heard all kinds of stories about sometimes it being lost and misplaced and a lot of times they weren’t counted. So that’s the biggest reason why,” Matthews said.
At one of the county’s largest precincts in Flintstone, voters said they had to wait up to 40 minutes in line.
Walker County Board of Elections and Registration Chairman Jim Buckner said some people who requested absentee ballots, decided to vote in person.
“If they do not bring us that ballot then we have to verify that they have not voted according to our records and then we also have to ask them to sign an affidavit under threat of perjury that they have not voted and that slows this line down. We have had more people than anticipated to do that,” Buckner said.
Buckner said the main thing that added to lines is that more people voted in this election.
“An example would be that there were more people that asked for absentee ballots in this election than voted in the same election two years ago,” he said.
Also, around half of the poll workers are new.
Buckner said some of their regular folks didn’t want to work over the threat of COVID-19.