II. Primary Updates
The 2018 primary elections are in the books in four more states this week after voters went to the polls in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and Texas for several runoffs.
Arkansas: In the Natural State, early voting was on the rise this year and there were few reported problems with the state’s voter ID law. In Crawford County, some voters mistakenly turned up at the wrong polling places. Local elections officials seemed to pin the mistake on two issues: One, the nearby counties of Benton, Sebastian and Washington all have vote centers and Crawford does not and vote centers are used for early voting so some voters may have voted early in the past not realizing they needed to return to neighborhood polling places. Lonoke County experienced several problems including a delayed start in some polling places and a late finish when aging voting machines had issues during the counting process. In the secretary of state race, State Land Commissioner John Thurston will represent the GOP in November and a runoff is needed to determine who will face Thurston.
Georgia: Turnout was light throughout the Peach State on Tuesday, which was not helped by bad weather. Polling place changes caused confusion for some voters in Chatham County. Some Catoosa County voting machines were timing out while voters were casting ballots which caused a delay in the process. A woman who has just finished voting committed suicide outside an Atlanta-area polling place. The site remained open and voting was not impacted. Things seemed to go smoothly with Gwinnett County’s first bilingual election and the county even had fancy new bilingual “I Voted” stickers available for voters. Fulton County, which has often had issues with delayed election results, seemed to solve that problem this time around by assigning election night assistants to precincts all over the county. In Floyd County a ballot error lead to the late reporting of election results. ADA advocates cited concerns with non-compliant polling places in Augusta-Richmond County. And in the race for secretary of state, Rep. Brad Raffensperger will compete in a runoff against Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle. And former Congressman John Barrow will represent the Democrats.
Kentucky: In the Bluegrass State, a few “hiccups” impacted voting in McCracken County, things like a poll workers showing up at the wrong location and poll workers not being able to locate certain equipment as the polls prepared to open. Polls opened late in a few locations in Pike County including one where no one could find the right key for the building. But overall, Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes said voting went smoothly. Madison County had some issued with electioneering. And in Hazard County the police were investigating vote buying.