[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/29/art.gasticker1029.ap.jpg caption="CNN's voter hotline has received several reports of long lines for early voting in the Atlanta area."]
(CNN) - Heavy turnout, sluggish computers and election official truancy were to blame for numerous reports of unbearable early voting lines in metro Atlanta, a spokesman for the Georgia secretary of state's office said Tuesday.
However, said spokesman Matt Carrothers, reports that the voting system crashed were "simply not true."
One voter in Duluth, Georgia, in Gwinnett County, called the CNN Voter Hotline on Monday evening to say election officials told her they had problems verifying voters.
"We just stood there," she said. "It was horrible and a lot of people missed work."
Though there was "some sluggishness" in the computer system Monday morning, the secretary or state's office and the Georgia Technology Authority worked out the kinks by mid-afternoon Monday, Carrothers said.
When polls closed Monday, 1.2 million of Georgia's 5.6 million registered voters – more than 21 percent – had cast ballots, Carrothers said. The secretary of state's office anticipated the strong turnout and has been preparing for this election for a year.
The sheer numbers would have been overwhelming on their own, but slow computers and a host of logistical and staffing issues compounded the problems, he said.
At one Fulton County polling station, election workers delayed opening the polls for two hours because no one had keys to the election machines. At another Fulton polling place, several election officials failed to show up.
There were also logistical problems at polling places in Gwinnett County, Carrothers said.
A woman in Centerville called CNN's Voter Hotline to say she had been in line for six hours.
"People are coming out saying they've been in line for eight hours," she said.
The woman calling the hotline from Duluth gave a similar account.
"I got there at 10:25 a.m.," she said. "I did not vote until 6 p.m."
In Clayton County, election officials requested to keep the polls open past 11 p.m., Carrothers said. CNN affiliate WSB reported that the Frank Bailey Senior Center in Riverdale accommodated voters until 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Carrothers said staffing issues caused the problems in Clayton County, and the secretary of state's inspector general sent a monitor to the county Tuesday morning.
"The wait times are now back to normal," Carrothers said Tuesday afternoon, explaining that the reports he's received indicate wait times are between five and 10 minutes across the state.