Bryan Co. voters experience long wait times at the polls

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 11:19 PM EDT
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BRYAN COUNTY Ga. (WTOC) - The final ballot was cast at one Bryan County voting location nearly two and a half hours after polls were set to close.

One voter told WTOC she was in line for nearly three hours.

Bryan County election officials are on the defense after some voters had to wait for hours outside to cast their ballots.

“I thought we had a good plan but obviously it didn’t turn out as we had hoped,” Tom Hand, Chairman, Bryan County Board of Elections said.

“It’s been about two hours, yeah,” Will Kroymann, Voter said.

“Um, about an hour and half.”

The frustration comes as the Secretary of State’s office decided to put a mobile voting unit in place after the normal voting location was damaged in last month’s tornado.

“We didn’t perform well today. The staff has been fantastic. The state was great in helping us. But I think as a leadership team, primarily on me, I don’t think we prepared as well as we should have,” Hand said.

Instead of thinking of who they were going to vote for concerns over grueling hot temperatures and privacy were top of mind for some voters.

“They have weeks, and they have months to plan for these things. Yeah we had a tornado but they brought a little trailer with only 3 voting machines,” Charlie & Anita Renninger said.

Voters say they saw some people have to be lifted into the voting unit causing concerns over accessibility.

“My elders you know, watching them, some with handicaps can’t get into the trailer because the trailer, you have to step up. There’s no ramp or anything. And I just feel like there had to have been a better way of doing this,” David Leiber, Voter said.

“It certainly was an oversight on my part and the rest of my team. It isn’t very accessible; I agree with that. We have to do a better job next time,” Hand said.

As night fell officials handed out water to those waiting in the heat, as voters had to use flashlights in the dark to review ballots.

“I admire their tenacity and their willingness to stay in line and vote,” Hand said.

As to whether the county would use the mobile voting unit in the future, the official we spoke to said personally that isn’t something he’d advocate for.

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