Speaker Pelosi weighed in on the voting chaos that occurred in Georgia’s primary elections this week, during her weekly press conference. The Peach State experienced widespread election-day madness, concentrated around Atlanta, with long wait times, broken machines and poll workers unfamiliar with procedure. In some cases, voting machines were absent from polling locations.
Speaker Pelosi characterized the madness as “either a disgrace of incompetence or a disgrace by intention,” and immediately pinned the blame on Republicans:
Pelosi on GA voting issues: It was either a disgrace of incompetence or a disgrace by intention— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) June 11, 2020
PELOSI: “What we saw in Georgia the other day was shameful."— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) June 11, 2020
Pelosi continues: "All part of the Republican playbook because they’re afraid of the voters, they’re afraid of the vote," she tells reporters.— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) June 11, 2020
"And we must inoculate against the actions that are predictable that they may take."
Though Democrats immediately pushed their evergreen “voter suppression” narrative, in an attempt to place blame on Republicans for logistical failures, Georgia’s voting chaos is at the hands of Democrats.
A large part of the chaos can be attributed to COVID-19, which caused typical polling places to opt-out of participation. As Georgia’s Statewide Voting Implementation Manager, Gabriel Sterling, pointed out, many counties that experienced issues collapsed polling places into “mega-precincts,” against the advice of state officials, which created impossibly long lines. Indeed, procedural decisions are made at the county level. Local officials are tasked with determining polling locations, while also hiring and training poll workers. The counties that experienced logistical issues with voting are overwhelmingly run by Democrats, as Sterling told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday:
“In those counties where people tend to vote Democrats, are run by Democrats, and they're the ones that set the elections boards, they’re the ones who hire the staff.”
The “voter suppression” narrative is a favorite of Democrats, used as an attempt to frame Republicans as opposed to voting rights, but in the case of Georgia’s primary, Democratic leadership deserves credit for the chaos.