A state-run website crashed Tuesday in Georgia as one of the nation's key Senate races was unfolding, roiling voting rights activists who complained the foul-up stymied residents from verifying their registration status.
The crash ultimately led to jammed phone line as frustrated voters tried to call local county election boards to check their status, The Hill reports
"This is completely unacceptable," Barbara Arnwine of Election Protection, one of the nation's largest nonpartisan voter protection coalitions, told The Hill. "The state of Georgia had a responsibility to ensure that their websites and phone resources were operational and available to voters at all times, yet the website continues to have ongoing problems."
the problem had been fixed
"With so many hotly contested races on the line, it’s disappointing and dismaying to see that eligible Georgia voters are waking up to find one more roadblock on their path to full democratic participation today," Rashad Robinson, the executive director of New York-based civil rights organization ColorofChange.org, said in a statement, Time reports.
Civil rights groups have criticized Georgia officials for losing 40,000 voter registrations from mostly minority voters, The Hill notes. But a state judge ruled last month against civil rights groups that wanted to force Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to account for the missing registrations.
The Senate race
in Georgia is one of the most closely watched in the nation, with Republican David Perdue battling Democrat Michelle Nunn in a tight contest. An NBC News/Marist poll Perdue leading 48 percent to 44 percent.
The CBS affiliate
in Atlanta reported the state's web site crashed sometime in the morning; the Secretary of State's office didn't specify how long the crash lasted, CBS reports.
Georgia Legislative Black Caucus Chair Dee Dawkins-Haigler called the crash a "blatant obstruction” by Kemp's office "so that people will be confused and not know where to go," the affiliate reports.
"This should be a clear cut decision for most people that they should go out and vote for someone who cares about everyone having the right to vote," he said.
Another voters-rights organization, Common Cause,
blasted the crash as "foreseeable and preventable."
"The state’s failure to anticipate and head them off is inexcusable," Common Cause president Miles Rapoport said. "The good news is that most Georgians are pressing ahead with voting despite these problems."
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