More than half the state's registered voters cast their ballots ahead of Election Day, with over 3.9 million choosing to vote early in person or by absentee ballot. That turnout nears the 4.1 million Georgians who voted in the 2016 general election.

Join GPB staff around the state for all of the latest developments on our Election Day blog.

Update 12:08 a.m: Loeffler Says She’s ‘Fired Up’ For Jan. 5 Runoff

Incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler vowed to fight “the radical left” as she headed toward a Jan. 5 runoff with Democratic hopeful, the Rev. Raphael Warnock.

“No one’s more fired up than I am,” she told supporters inside a ballroom at the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta’s posh Buckhead.

Loeffler
Caption
Sen. Kelly Loeffler told supporters: “Y’all know how important it is that we come together because the radical left wants to take over this country."
Credit: Tristan Smith | GPB News

Loeffler was appointed after former Sen. Johnny Isakson’s 2019 resignation by Gov. Brian Kemp as a self-funder who could appeal to moderate, suburban women that have fled the Republican Party in the last four years.

She thanked the governor and wished he could have been in attendance. Kemp was quarantining after being exposed to coronavirus at a rally last week.

“I promised him I would bring my business experience, my conservative values, my commitment to delivering results,” she said. “And that’s what I did from Day 1. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work for Georgia.”

She also extended an olive branch to Rep. Doug Collins, who had provided a stiff challenge among the state’s conservatives. Loeffler thanked Collins “for his service to our state, for our country,” adding that “he’s a strong conservative” and supporter of President Donald Trump.

“I am honored to have him on my team as we move forward,” she said. “Y’all know how important it is that we come together because the radical left wants to take over this country, and we’re going to fight back against that.”

She added, “We’re going to be successful, but we’ve got a long road ahead.”

From GPB’s Wayne Drash and Stephen Fowler

 

10:56 p.m.: Warnock: ‘They Cannot Lead Us, So They Will Try To Divide Us’

The Rev. Raphael Warnock, the Democratic challenger for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats, called Tuesday’s results a “great night” and vowed he was a contrast in styles over the divisiveness of his Republican counterpart.

Warnock is headed to a Jan. 5 runoff with sitting Sen. Kelly Loeffler after Rep. Doug Collins later conceded to the incumbent.

“Over the next two months, you’re going to see the petty and personal attacks that have become too much a part of the culture of Washington,” Warnock said. “They’re going to try to distract us and divide us by making us afraid of one another. And here’s why: People who lack vision traffic in division. They cannot lead us, so they will try to divide us.”

Warnock
Caption
The Rev. Raphael Warnock was all smiles outside his Atlanta campaign headquarters on Nov. 3, 2020.
Credit: Stephen Fowler | GPB News

The two top vote-getters move on to the runoff. Results from the Associated Press show Warnock is pretty much guaranteed with 28.7% of the vote, followed by Loeffler’s 28.4% and Collins’ 22.8%.

“We know that both Sen. Loeffler and Congressman Collins want to take away your health care,” Warnock said. “You don’t have to take my word for it. They’ve already told you so. They want to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic and deny coverage of people with preexisting conditions. I think that is a bad idea.”

He added, “While they try to tear me down, I’m going to be busy trying to lift the families of Georgia up — because we’re all we got.”

From GPB’s Wayne Drash

 

10:46 p.m.: Doug Collins Concedes To Loeffler In Senate Race

Rep. Doug Collins conceded defeat to sitting Sen. Kelly Loeffler in what had become a bitter race between the two for the state's conservatives. 

Loeffler will now head to a Jan. 5 runoff with Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock.

From GPB's Tristan Smith

9:52 p.m.: Loeffler Supporter: ‘I Want A Red Tsunami’

In the Grand Hyatt Grand Ballroom in Buckhead, around 100 mostly unmasked Kelly Loeffler supporters gathered early in the evening to watch election returns as they trickled in over a large screen pumping in a Fox News feed.

Melissa Ehlert-Traub, who said Loeffler was one of her best friends, said she was experiencing mixed feelings. 

Loeffler Supporter 1
Caption
Supporters of Sen. Kelly Loeffler gathered at the Grand Hyatt Grand Ballroom on the night of Nov. 3, 2020.
Credit: Tristan Smith | GPB News

“I’m a little nervous,” she said, “but I want a red tsunami at the end of the day.”

She felt that Loeffler’s experience as a conservative business leader and WNBA owner made her the best choice in a field of 21 candidates vying to win the special election to fill Sen. Johnny Isakson’s former seat. 

“Just being able to understand how to run companies,” Ehlert-Traub said, “to run sports clubs, and the whole gamut. She’s the complete package.”    

She wasn’t the only one feeling the nerves. JoAnn Birrell from Marietta felt the same way. 

“I’m feeling confident, but I’m also a little nervous from the top all the way to the bottom,” she said.

Loeffler 2
Caption
A large screen pumped in a Fox News feed as supporters of Sen. Kelly Loeffler gathered at Atlanta's Grand Hyatt on Nov. 3, 2020..
Credit: Tristan Smith | GPB News

Both felt that Loeffler having to not only campaign against the leading Democrat candidate, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, but also against Republican Rep. Doug Collins ultimately split voters.

Birrell believed Collins’ presence caused a division in the party. “We needed to be united against a strong Democrat,” she said.

Brookhaven resident Luciano Tiberia said initially he was torn between the two Republican candidates but President Donald Trump’s support for Loeffler “was the deciding factor.” 

From GPB’s Tristan Smith

 

9:27 p.m.: Fulton Should Have 80-90% Of Votes Tabulated By 11 p.m.

Fulton County Elections Supervisor Rick Barron says voter turnout was “slow and steady” all day with no major disruptions. 

He anticipates the county will have 80% to 90% of votes tabulated by 11 pm. Elections workers are still processing absentee ballots at State Farm Arena.

— From Georgia News Lab’s David Armstrong

 

9:09 p.m.: Optimistic Warnock Greets Supporters 

The Rev. Raphael Warnock greeted supporters and staff outside his Atlanta campaign headquarters on Election Night.

Warnock, senior pastor of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and a Democrat, is competing in a fascinating 20-person race, trying to unseat GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler — who is also facing a sharp challenge on the right from U.S. Rep. Doug Collins.

With 17.3% of precincts reporting, the Associated Press reported Loeffler leading with 28.8%, Warnock with 28.3% of the vote, and Collins with 24.3%.  

If no candidate wins a majority of the vote after today’s election, the top two vote-getters will head to a Jan. 5 runoff.

From GPB’s Stephen Fowler and Wayne Drash

 

9 p.m.: Polls Have Closed Around Georgia

Polls have now closed across the state. 

Spalding County had extended voting until 9 p.m.

From GPB's Wayne Drash

8:14 p.m.: DeKalb County Election Office Begins Counting Votes 

Between 40,000 and 42,000 people voted in person on Election Day in DeKalb County, officials said.

According to communications consultant Erik Burton, the office has to process the mail-in and absentee ballots to know for sure how many people voted today in total.

DeKalb County office
Caption
DeKalb County officials said at least 40,000 people cast their ballots in person on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020.
Credit: Brooklyn Valera | Georgia News Lab

Two polling locations experienced delayed openings. As a result, Valley Brook Baptist Church was extended until 7:40 p.m. and Obama Elementary School was extended to 7:45 p.m.

While the office received absentee ballots, it couldn’t begin processing them through the system until the official count began, Burton said.

From the Georgia News Lab’s Brooklyn Valera

7:40 p.m.: Report: Burst Pipe Causes Delay At State Farm Arena

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Ben Brasch said absentee-by-mail processing at State Farm Arena was “delayed by four hours” after a pipe burst. He reported that officials said no ballots were damaged.


7 p.m.: Most Polls Close Across Georgia

The majority of polls across Georgia have closed. The anticipation now shifts to results. 

Georgia has not voted for a Democratic president since 1992. Even then, it was thanks to the help of independent Ross Perot. Bill Clinton took 43.5% of the vote; George H. Bush got 42.9%; and Perot got 13.3%. 

Stay with GPB throughout the night.

From GPB's Wayne Drash

6:49 p.m.: Two DeKalb Polling Sites Extended

Two polling locations in DeKalb County have been extended past the scheduled 7 p.m. closing times.

The two polling places are the Valley Brook precinct until 7:40 p.m. and the Gresham Road precinct until 7:45 p.m. The county did not immediately say why the polls there were extended.  

Voters continued to show up well into the evening at the Valley Brook site. 

Sean Glaomeyer, a poll worker, said they'e not sure why polling was extended at the location.

"We got a call and they said stay open until 7:40. No idea,” he said.

Valley Brook
Caption
Some cars continued to pull into Valley Brook Baptist Church in DeKalb County, where voting was extended until 7:40 p.m.
Credit: Sarah Rose | GPB News

From GPB's Sarah Rose and Wayne Drash 

6:09 p.m.: Polls Ordered To Remain Open Until 9 p.m. In Spalding County

Spalding County Superior Court Judge W. Fletcher Sams has signed an order extending voting hours to 9 p.m. at all 18 precincts in Spalding County, about 45 miles south of Atlanta, after worker error caused databases to be improperly loaded on poll pads this morning.

From GPB's Stephen Fowler 

5:55 p.m.: No Long Lines In Cherokee County

Long lines on Tuesday were not a problem in Cherokee County, a Republican stronghold that went 73% for President Donald Trump in 2016.

Voting went smoothly for much of the day. More than 58% of registered voters had already cast their ballots before Election Day, helping easing any potential bottlenecks.

Despite the area being strong GOP country, plenty of signs for Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden could be seen around the county.

Some Biden supporters, including two girls, held Biden signs along one road. People in at least three cars shouted “Trump” at them and waved middle fingers. 

— From GPB's Ellen Eldridge

5:14 p.m.: Turnout Light Across Georgia

With less than two hours left before polls close, lines at polling places across the state have been more of a constant trickle than the anticipated fire hose of possible voters.

One northwest Georgia county election official was pulling poll workers from sparsely attended precincts to help process absentee ballots, and was stunned to see short wait times at normally bustling locations.

"It's hard to have problems without voters," the official said.

The state had seen record early turnout before Election Day, with more than 3.9 million voting early in person or by absentee ballot. 

From GPB’s Stephen Fowler

 

3:50 p.m.: Atlanta Businesses Brace For Unrest

Businesses along Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta began boarding up Tuesday afternoon for the possibility of unrest following election results. Here are photographs from the area:

Hard Rock Cade Boarded Up
Credit: Sarah Rose
Hard Rock Cafe Boarded Up
Credit: Sarah Rose
Building Boarded Up Downtown
Credit: Sarah Rose
The Westin Boarded Up
Credit: Sarah Rose
Bank of America Boarded Up
Credit: Sarah Rose
Target Boarded Up in Atlanta
Credit: Marylynn Ryan
Target Boarded Up in Atlanta
Credit: Marylynn Ryan
Target Boarded Up in Atlanta
Credit: Marylynn Ryan
Georgia State Capitol Barricaded
Georgia State Capitol Barricaded
Credit: Sarah Rose
Georgia State Capitol Barricaded
Credit: Sarah Rose

From GPB's Sarah Rose

2:49 p.m.: Student Flies From Chicago To Cast Ballot

Chloe Macaren is an Atlanta native attending college at Loyola University Chicago. She flew into Georgia last night and got up at 6 a.m. to vote because her absentee ballot never showed up.

Student
Caption
Atlanta resident Chloe Macaren flew back from Loyola University in Chicago Monday night to cast her ballot first thing Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.
Credit: Sarah Rose | GPB News

"This is so exciting; I feel like I'm going to be talking about this forever," Macaren said. "This is the first time I've been able to vote, but the decisions [Trump’s] been making, especially with the Supreme Court justices, are going to affect me and everyone my age for the next 50 years."

— From GPB’s Sarah Rose

 

2:33 p.m: 'The Energy Is Positive’

Heading into Election Day, there were a handful of voting precincts in Houston County that had seen very little early voting.

At the Warner Robins Recreation Department on the north side of the county, turnout was heavy but the line moved steadily, about 40 minutes from door to voting machine by mid-morning.

Perry 1
Caption
Eugene Spicer struggles to make it to the polling area at Rozar Park in Perry, Ga. With his health issues, he said he was determined to vote in person. "Some of the people I've talked to, they're not sure their votes gonna be counted or not," Spicer said.
Credit: Grant Blankenship | GPB News

“I had to make my vote,” said Skylar Petrone, who turned 18 on Monday. “I feel like a lot of lives are at stake.”

At the same precinct, Costella Edwards who grew up during the height of the civil rights movement said, “I'm just excited just being out here. The energy is positive. People are excited. Don't see any rabble-rousing or anything like that.”

At the Rozar Park polling site in a different part of the county, Seth Wheeler of Perry said he worries about the erosion of civil liberties and that's what drove him to vote. At the top of his mind are threats to his 2nd Amendment rights, the spread of "red flag" gun laws and the perception that social media platforms are violating the 1st Amendment rights of conservatives.

Perry 2
Caption
Poll worker Justine Whitfield, left, checks in voter Matthew Barron in the Rozar Park polling place in Perry, Ga.
Credit: Grant Blankenship | GPB News

Ellie Williams calls herself a lifelong Republican. She voted for Trump in 2016. "That was a mistake," she said.

In the past four years, Williams said she has lost her job and she has endured the pandemic with no health care coverage. Who did she vote for this year? 

"Damn sure wasn't Donald Trump," she said.

Perry 3
Caption
An independent poll watcher near the entrance to the ballot marking machines at the Rozar Park polling place in Perry, Ga.
Credit: Grant Blankenship | GPB News

From GPB’s Grant Blankenship

 

2:03 p.m.: Gov. Kemp Drops Off Ballot

Gov. Brian Kemp emerged from quarantine on Tuesday to drop his ballot off at a drop box. Kemp has been quarantining after being exposed to coronavirus at a rally last week.


1:45 p.m.: Chatham County Voting Smoothes Out

Chatham County Board of Elections member Antwan T. Lang is visiting polling places all day to monitor how things are going. He said some issues in the first few hours of voting are typical, and that's what he's seen today.

"From 7 to 9 [a.m.], that is really the toughest time for poll mangers," he said. "They're getting everything going at 7. People are in line; most of the time, have been waiting for some time. There might be some issues with a machine in terms of human error issues."

Most issues have been resolved and are running smoothly, according to Lang. He said high early voting and absentee turnout has helped keep lines and problems to a minimum.

— From GPB’s Emily Jones

 

1:26 p.m.: Stacey Abrams: ‘We Have A Plan For Healing’

Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic gubernatorial candidate who turned her narrow 2018 loss to Gov. Brian Kemp into a massive voting rights movement, showed up at Atlanta’s Coan Park as part of a campaign stop for the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is running for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats.

"We have a plan for healing, a plan for our state,” Abrams said. “That is what we deserve. When we finish today, the work continues."

Stacey Abrams
Caption
Stacey Abrams stumps for the Rev. Raphael Warnock on Nov. 3, 2020.
Credit: Sarah Rose | GPB News

Warnock, senior pastor of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, is competing in a fascinating 20-person race, trying to unseat GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler — who is also facing a sharp challenge on the right by U.S. Rep. Doug Collins.

"Lately we've had a lot of people not elected, but selected,” Warnock said. “Kelly Loeffler was so focused on her portfolio she forgot about the people."

Warnock also took note of the diverse crowd. "All of this diversity,” he said, “this is the American promise, and it’s slipping away from too many people. John Lewis can go across a bridge for freedom; surely you can go into a booth and cast a ballot."

If no candidate wins a majority of the vote after today’s election, the top two vote-getters will head to a Jan. 5 runoff.

From GPB News Sarah Rose

 

12:51 p.m.: After Slow Start, Savannah Site Reports No Voter Problems

Despite waits of an hour or more when the polls opened at the Church at Godley Station, near the Savannah Airport, the line had dwindled to almost nothing shortly after noon. Voters were in and out in less than 10 minutes. 

Poll watcher Dicky Stone said at least 50 people lined up at the site before polls opened at 7 a.m., but he said the bottleneck of voters cleared out after more poll workers arrived.

Savannah 4
Caption
Voters pictured here at the Church at Godley Station, near the Savannah Airport, were in and out in under 10 minutes.
Credit: Emily Jones | GPB News

In this precinct, 51.7% of voters cast their ballots early, leaving 1,776 remaining people who could vote at this site on Election Day.

From GPB’s Emily Jones

12:29 p.m.: Lower Turnout Than Expected At DeKalb Site

At Sagamore Hills Elementary School in western Dekalb County, precinct manager Rosalyn Rogers said she has seen about 200 voters by noontime, around two-thirds of the normal voting traffic, and less than expected.

Rogers attributed "early voting and absentee ballots" as the big factor in the lower numbers. She said that 10 absentee ballots had been dropped off as well.

First-time voter Luc Tran, 18, said it was important for him to vote to express his beliefs in how the country should be run, and what younger people want. Social justice and social issues are his driving issues, as well as COVID-19 concerns.

Sagamore Hills
Caption
Voter turnout was lower than expected on Nov. 3, 2020, at the Sagamore Hills Elementary School in DeKalb County.
Credit: Tristan Smith | GPB News

Joe Smith, a lifetime resident of the Sagamore Hills neighborhood, said that like in many other presidential elections, everything seems at stake. He said he has been very impressed by the numbers of early voters and is "happy to see that people are engaged."

The pandemic has been a major issue driving people to the polls, Smith said, and "that there is sort of a separation of the average American voter from politics, where they feel like things don't matter" but "that the pandemic just happens to be the one thing that can touch every single life, you know.”

From GPB’s Tristan Smith

12:02 p.m.: No Issues At Site Of Excessive Lines In June

At the Christian City Welcome Center in Union City, only one person voted in a 45-minute stretch mid-morning.

The mostly Black polling place was home to the worst lines in the June 9 primary, with the last vote being cast in the early morning of June 10.

Some of the change comes from a shift to early voting, and Fulton County officials adding 91 new polling places to spread out overcrowded polls.

At a press briefing, the Fulton elections director said none of the 255 polls had lines more than 30 minutes.

From GPB's Stephen Fowler

11:49 a.m.: Georgia Tech Turns B-ball Arena Into Student-run Polling Precinct 

Jolie Fouts and Reese Howard, two first-time voters, are cheerleaders for Georgia Tech. They volunteered to stand outside McCamish Pavilion, the polling location on campus, to help encourage their peers to vote today.  

Georgia Tech students arose early Tuesday — about 5 a.m. — to turn on ballot machines in preparation for voting at 7 a.m. at the McCammish Pavilion, the university's basketball arena. 

The site will be "one of the first and only completely student-run polling locations," the university says. The idea was reportedly the brainchild of a Tech basketball student-athlete.

— From GPB’s Sarah Rose and Wayne Drash

11:26 a.m.: Scanner Problem At Tybee Island Corrected

The ballot scanner at the Tybee Island YMCA is working, after being down for the first few hours of voting. 

Laurie Greene, who lined up at 5:45 a.m. in order to vote first, ended up staying to observe her ballot and others' to be sure they got scanned. Greene said poll workers told her the scanners at this location and the Tybee lighthouse were switched accidentally. 

 

Tybee 1
Caption
Laurie Greene lined up at 5:45 a.m. in order to vote first on Tybee Island on Nov. 3, 2020.
Credit: Emily Jones | GPB News

Now that the issue is fixed, they've been scanning the backed-up ballots in between voters. Greene has gone home, but said another person, two ACLU poll observers, and a journalist from the Savannah Morning News were all still inside watching the ballot scanning when she left.

"I know there was no foul play on the poll workers' or the city's part," Greene said of the issue with the ballot scanners early on. "It was just an accident."

Tybee 2
Caption
The line to vote at the Tybee Island YMCA was moving quickly after an initial glitch. Voters said it was a beautiful day and they were happy to wait in a brief line to cast their ballots. One reported a 20-minute wait time.
Credit: Emily Jones | GPB News

"The poll workers did a phenomenal job," she said. "I was right there listening to the phone calls. They even put it on speaker. They did everything they could."

Mitch Gump lives on Tybee Island and decided to vote in person. He said the economy was his top issue. 

“COVID’s soon to be over. I don’t know why everybody’s freaking out so much about that," Gump said. "With [Operation] Warp Speed, we’re going to have vaccines around the corner,” said Mitch Gump. “I feel great, happy. I think my.boy’s gonna win.”

— From GPB’s Emily Jones

11:08 a.m.: ‘I want to see a future where immigrants are welcome’

Joel Comargo is a 31-year-old, first-time voter and first-time poll worker. His parents were immigrants from Brazil, and he said issues around immigration were a big reason why he decided to get involved this year.

"I saw their struggle growing up," he said. "I saw them work so hard and get back so little from the government. ... I want to see a future where immigrants are welcome and given equal opportunities completely."

Ponce City Poll Worker 1
Caption
Joel Comargo is a 31-year-old, first-time voter and first-time poll worker. “I want to see a future where immigrants are welcome,” he said.
Credit: Sarah Rose | GPB News

He is helping at Atlanta’s Ponce City Market voting site where lines were not a problem

Another worker, Christie Jo Mayo, said working as a poll worker this year held special significance because of Georgia's potential role as a "swing state."

Ponce City Poll Worker 2
Caption
Christie Jo Mayo said she is excited about Georgia's potential role as a swing state.
Credit: Sarah Rose | GPB News

"I'm ready to see some change; I'm ready to see us move forward," she said. "I figured, why not help people find where they're going, cast their vote, and have their voice heard?"

From GPB’s Sarah Rose

10:54 a.m.: Voters Enthused In Houston County 

Cheta Johnson and Shonda Waymon look at a sample ballot posted on a wall while waiting to vote at the Warner Robins Recreation Department in Warner Robins, Ga. Poll workers estimated about a 40-minute wait at the facility in Houston County, the boyhood home of sitting Sen. David Perdue. 

More Grant 4
Caption
Voters waited about 40 minutes in line at a polling center in Warner Robins on Nov. 3, 2020.
Credit: Grant Blankenship | GPB News

Another photo from the polling site:

More Grant
Caption
Cheta Johnson, center, and Shonda Waymon, left, look at a sample ballot while waiting to vote at the Warner Robins Recreation Department in Warner Robins, Ga.
Credit: Grant Blankenship | GPB News

And another:

More Grant 5
Caption
Emanuel Brown of Warner Robins, Ga. stretches at the halfway point of the 40-minute wait to vote Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.
Credit: Grant Blankenship | GPB News

From GPB’s Grant Blankenship

10:02 a.m.: Atlanta's Ponce City 'hasn't been busy at all'

No lines were reported at Atlanta’s Ponce City Market voting site. 

"We've barely seen anyone,” poll worker Joel Camargo said. “It hasn't been busy at all, so far." 

Ponce City
Caption
Voting at Ponce City Market was smooth during the early morning hours of Nov. 3, 2020.
Credit: Sarah Rose | GPB News

Ponce City, as it’s commonly called, is one of Atlanta’s premier shopping sites, having transformed the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building into a thriving multi-use facility.

— From GPB’s Sarah Rose

9:41 a.m: Savannah Poll Worker: ‘Too important not to be involved’

Most voters leaving West Broad Street YMCA in Savannah on Tuesday morning were in a hurry to get to work. Several said they were already late, after a wait of around 45 minutes. One said she waited an hour. 

Voters said they were excited and eager to learn the results. "I'm happy to see a lot of people came out to vote," Raven Prescott said.

​Poll observer Susan Heard took a personal day off her job as a teacher to sit outside the precinct, where the temperature hovered in the 40s Tuesday morning. "It was too important not to be involved this year," she said.

Prescott said she’d just got off a long work shift, but she stopped to vote before heading home to rest. She said she voted in person to be sure her vote was counted, especially after news of a ballot drop box fire in Boston.

Malcolm Chaplin of Savannah said he thinks voting in person sends a powerful message. 

“I always vote, particularly on Election Day,” he said. “I think it makes a bigger statement when you come in person.”

Laquintiana Reuth said she was motivated to vote by what she's heard from Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden.

"If he was elected president, it's gonna go downhill," Reuth said. “Trump definitely has my vote.” 

Reuth said she was especially concerned about Biden’s promise to end cash bail, which she worries would let sex offenders out of prison. Reuth also expressed doubt in the election system. "They're gonna elect who they want," she said. 

The precinct is near where Rev. Raphael Warnock, the leading Democrat who is running for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat, grew up.

From GPB’s Emily Jones

9:15 a.m: Macon Voter: ‘Do Your Thing’

Duquan Freeman of Macon waited to vote on Election Day, in part because he didn't trust voting by mail. 

"Today is a really important day to go out there, do your thing today," he said. “To show your face, you know.”

Freeman said this was a huge election for him personally. "I don't know, man; I'm just stoked," he said.

When was the last time Freeman felt this way? "When Barack was in his chair," he said.

Debbie White of Macon was at the same precinct about an hour after it opened. She said she wanted Trump gone and that she wanted "someone that is honest to everyone in the United States.” 

From GPB’s Grant Blankenship

8:50 a.m.: Voting In Warnock's Savannah Boyhood Neighborhood

The parking lot was full but there was no line outside in the cold at West Broad Street YMCA in Savannah near where Rev. Raphael Warnock, the leading Democrat who is running for U.S. Senate, grew up.

The wait inside is about half an hour to 45 minutes, according to poll observer Susan Heard.

Savannah image
Caption
The parking lot was full at West Broad Street YMCA in Savannah near where U.S. Senate candidate Raphael Warnock grew up. No problems were reported at the voting site.
Credit: Emily Jones | GPB News

Warnock, the senior pastor of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, is competing in a fascinating 20-person race, trying to unseat sitting GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler — who is also facing a sharp challenge on the right by Rep. Doug Collins. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two vote-getters will head to a Jan. 5 runoff.

From GPB's Emily Jones

8:12 a.m.: No Meltdowns Reported Early, Voting Goes Smoothly In Fulton

Georgia is now more than an hour into Election Day voting. The early-morning meltdowns reported during the June primary are nowhere to be found.

In Fulton County, home to 11% of the state's voters, officials added 91 new polling places to ease the burden of overcrowded polls that saw hours-long lines. One of the largest in the state, Park Tavern, has little wait after the 16,000 voters assigned in the primary were split up into 5 locations.

A few miles south, Rep. David Dreyer (D-Atlanta) said on Twitter that the FanPlex polling place in the shadow of the old Turner Field were "running exactly like they’re supposed to."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Mark Niesse tweeted, "No Midtown meltdown this time: Voting smooth at Park Tavern so far." 

From GPB's Stephen Fowler

8:07 a.m.: Enthusiastic Voters In Cherokee County

Robin Perkins waited in line around 7:10 a.m. behind roughly 100 Cherokee County voters at the Allen Temple AME Church in Woodstock. "Better care during this pandemic" was one of the issues top-of mind for her. 

Stephanie Velaz was "very cold but very excited as well" as she waited to cast a ballot on Election Day. The Woodstock woman said she didn't have time to vote early, so she came out today.

Amanda Ledbetter of Woodstock said she voted for “the candidate who is going to be best for our future in terms of not only taking care of the government and their money but taking care of the working man and their money."

The Republican stronghold went 73% for President Donald Trump in 2016.

From GPB's Ellen Eldridge 

7:42 a.m.: Avoiding Repeat Of June's Long Lines

The secretary of state's office said several steps have been taken to avoid a repeat of the June 9 primary that saw delayed poll openings and long lines because of equipment issues and worker shortages.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Monday said more than 52,000 Georgians volunteered to serve as poll workers since June, and more technical support will be on hand to deal with issues that may arise.

Raffensperger said record early voting will make Election Day easier, with nearly 4 million ballots already cast.

"There will be tens of thousands of poll workers staffing over 2,400 polling locations to help assure their neighbors can vote safely and securely," he said.

Data from the state's absentee file show that many metro Atlanta polling places have seen more than 50% of their registered voters cast ballots already, alleviating the number of people left to vote Tuesday.

State elections officials estimate around 1.7 million Georgians will head to the polls.

From GPB's Stephen Fowler

7:37 a.m.: 'I wanted to make sure I got my voice heard'

Amy Powers is a poll watcher in Woodstock. More than 58% of registered voters have already cast ballots in the county, including Powers.

She said she waited in line for two hours and “it was worth every minute.”

“I wanted to make sure I got my voice heard and wanted to get it done; get that off my to-do list,” she said.

It was 32 degrees as polls opened and Powers said she was excited to see how committed everyone is to vote in the 2020 presidential election.

“Being outside, my No. 1 responsibility is helping the line so they don’t have to wait as long,” she said. “The least amount as possible.” 

From GPB's Ellen Eldridge

7:30 a.m.: Fulton Precinct Sees No Lines, Smooth Voting Early 

GPB News Political Reporter Stephen Fowler says there’s only about a dozen people at his polling center this morning in Fulton County. During the June primary, he says, there were more than 110 people in line at 7 a.m. and it “took me three hours to vote.”

The lack of a long line today so far. he says, can be credited “in part because Fulton split another precinct to its own location AND nearly 70% of registered voters voted early!”


7:11 a.m.: Cherokee County Voters Brave Freezing Temps

Just before polls opened in Cherokee County, 100 people waited in line to vote at Allen Temple AME Church in Woodstock.

Cherokee Voters
Caption
Just before polls opened in Cherokee County on Nov. 3, 2020, dozens of voters waited in line to vote at Allen Temple AME Church in Woodstock.
Credit: Ellen Eldridge | GPB News

It’s 32 degrees and more than 58% of registered voters have already cast a ballot in the county, a Republican stronghold that went 73% for President Donald Trump in 2016. Most so far said their mood was "cold but excited." 

From GPB's Ellen Eldridge

6:52 a.m.: Tech Turns Basketball Arena Into Student-run Polling Precinct 

Georgia Tech students arose early Tuesday to turn on ballot machines in preparation for voting at 7 a.m. at the McCammish Pavilion, the university's basketball arena. 

The site will be "one of the first and only completely student-run polling locations," the university says.