Several voting machines were stolen ahead of Georgia’s highly publicized special Congressional election.
Local media is reporting that a precinct manager in Cobb County, Georgia — which is the third-most populous county in the state — had four ExpressPoll voting machines stolen out of their van on Saturday. According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, the precinct manager waited two days to tell the Secretary of State about the stolen machines.
In a public statement, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp promised an investigation into the theft of the machines.
“It is unacceptable that the Cobb County Elections Office waited two days to notify my office of this theft. We have opened an investigation, and we are taking steps to ensure that it has no effect on the election tomorrow. I am confident that the results will not be compromised,” Kemp said.
The voting machines are critical, as they are used to check in registered voters when they show up to the precinct to vote, in addition to recording registered voters who cast ballots.
Election officials say the voting machines for the Piedmont Road precinct will be completely replaced in time for polls to open on Tuesday. Democrat Jon Ossoff is the front-runner in the race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, running to fill the seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, whom President Donald Trump appointed to his cabinet in January.
Ossoff has been running on a decidedly anti-Trump platform, and his win in the traditionally red district is seen as a temperature check of Republicans’ chances in the 2018 midterm elections. If Ossoff should fail to beat his Republican counterparts by clearing the 50 percent threshold, he’ll have to continue campaigning for a runoff election to be held this summer.
Even though Price represented Cobb County for 12 years, the district is considered purple, as Donald Trump won Georgia but lost Cobb County by a narrow 6,800 vote margin last November.
Tom Cahill is a writer for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook.