ATLANTA (CNN) – The scariest part of this Halloween for some Atlanta voters is the unprecedented wait time at area polling stations, where heavy turnout and computer problems are leading to delays of 2 to 10 hours.
At a downtown Atlanta location the wait was up to four hours Friday as the line stretched down three blocks according to CNN’s Rusty Dornin, who was in line herself at the location.
And that location isn't even the longest wait for voters in that county. According to Jessica Corbitt of the Fulton County Office of Community Relations, at the Welcome All Center in South Fulton County the wait was five hours long.
Three thousand people have voted at the Adamsville location, according to Beverly Isom, executive aide to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. Isom told us that those at the front of the line at 4 p.m. had been waiting to vote since 9am, and that hundreds more have signed up and continue to wait in line. Crowds are reported to be orderly and patient - but are weary of the six-hour wait.
As in many jurisdictions, if voters are in line by 7 p.m. then they will be able to vote. Corbitt said “obviously the voting will go long past 7 p.m.”
In DeKalb County, northeast of Atlanta, officials estimated that up to 19,000 people will vote today, as lines at polling stations continue to wrap around buildings and down city blocks. Mary Frances Weeks, administrative assistant to DeKalb County Director of Elections Linda Lattimore, tells CNN that at the dozens of county polling locations the wait is an average of 3 hours. As of yesterday according to Weeks, 134,153 people have cast early ballots in DeKalb County.
The Gwinnett County board of Elections office tells CNN that their longest wait time is up to 10 hours at their Grayson highway location, and an average of five hours at their other four locations.
As turnout continues to race toward record-breaking numbers, Democratic officials continue to press Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel over her decision not to extend early voting hours.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's editorial board criticized the move earlier this week, writing that “state and local election officials should be making every effort to accommodate citizens who obviously want to exercise their country’s most sacred right.”
Handel responded with a Thursday op-ed in the paper affirming her decision. “Georgians can be assured that my office is not going to attempt to change the rules to accommodate the political whims of groups or newspapers less than a week before Election Day,” she wrote.
A number of voters have called in to the CNN Voter Hotline to complain about the long lines in Georgia.
“Vote times in excess of seven hours which is absolutely ridiculous and horrendous,” Mitchell Silvers from Lillburn, Georgia told the Hotline.
Another Gwinnett County caller, Donovan Noble, was worried he wouldn’t be able to get in his vote by the end of early voting on Friday because his voting location was only accepting voters until 4:30 p.m.
“There is no way that all the people out there are going to be able to vote,” said Noble.