Voting rights activist and former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams aired frustrations over the difficulties she and others experienced in attempting to vote in Georgia’s primary elections on Tuesday.
“Georgians deserve better,” Abrams tweeted. “I voted today bc of absentee ballot defects. From Jasper to Fulton to Coffee & Chatham, long lines, inoperable machines & under-resourced communities are being hurt.”
She put Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on blast, saying the official “owns this disaster.”
“My absentee ballot, when it finally arrived, had an unusable return envelope,” Abrams told reporters in a conference call, per local NBC News affiliate 11Alive. “And so I had to vote in person today because I could not replace that envelope.”
Abrams described her efforts to fix the faulty envelope, which she said had been sealed shut when she received it.
“I attempted to steam it open because I’ve watched lots of mystery shows,” she said. “It didn’t work and I unable to open the envelope which meant that I was unable to return my ballot.”
The state’s elections was plagued with a host of problems, from understaffed polling sites to glitchy voting machines to missing mail-in ballots. The chaos forced voters to wait in line for hours to vote in person.
“It’s a disaster that was eminently preventable,” Abrams said. “We found ourselves in the mix of both incompetence and malfeasance.”
The Washington Post reported that judges in 20 Georgia counties had allowed polling places to stay open past ordinary closing time.