For Atlanta voters, 10 hour lines await
Published: Friday October 31, 2008

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At many polling spots around the country, early voting is for the studious: arrive whenever, brave a relatively small crowd, and cast a ballot well before the deadline.

But, not this time.

In Atlanta, GA., MSNBC's Tamron Hall found not just long lines, but a day-long wait as well.

"These are folks standing in line, trying to get in before early voting ends in that state," said Hall. "It ends today, by the way. And this line? Eight to 10 hours is the estimate for some poor soul who's at the back of the line right now. Eight to 10 hours.

"These lines are everywhere in the state as voters are packing into the polling locations. They say across the state, lines at polling locations are several hours long, not just where we're looking, at this strip mall. Officials estimate, according to what I'm reading here on one of the local news Web sites, about 12 percent of the state's 5.6 million registered voters have already cast their vote.

"... They're seeing a strong turnout among African-American voters in this state. Some of the more populated areas, like Atlanta with more African-Americans, are seeing a huge turnout. This appears to be the case from just looking at the video."

Poll lines of daunting length -- though none which top Atlanta's 10 hour wait -- have been reported in Florida, North Carolina and Nevada. More are expected on election day.

Extremely long lines are of concern to vote integrity watchdogs due to repeat occurrences of mis-allocated voting machines in largely Democrat-leaning areas. A lack of machines in heavily-populated, African-American majority districts in Ohio contributed significantly to George W. Bush's 2004 win.

Local and state officials are calling on the governor and secretary of state to extend early voting through Monday.

This video is from MSNBC's News Live, broadcast October 31, 2008.

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