With such widespread reports of failing voting machines across the country, it took a civil rights icon to steward what could become an iconic civil rights moment during the highly consequential midterm elections on Tuesday.
As voting suppression was seemingly being realized in real-time, a video posted to social media showed two men bringing five voting machines into a polling place in Georgia, with the Rev. Jesse Jackson bringing up the rear, looking like he was overseeing the entire process.
People could be seen standing around (read: not voting) in the Pittman Park Recreation Center in South Atlanta before the new machines were brought in to a welcoming round of applause that may as well have doubled as a collective sigh of relief.
It could become a defining moment in the fight against the very real voter suppression efforts Georgians have seen in the weeks ahead of Election Day. Watch it below.
According to Kathleen Quillian, the news producer who tweeted the footage, voters who arrived at Pittman Park Recreation Center were greeted by just three voting machines, forcing people to have to wait for up to four hours.
With such anticipation surrounding the election, it was up to the officials overseeing the election to plan ahead for what was expected to be a high voter turnout. So it was no wonder that the Republican candidate running for governor, Brian Kemp, also happened to be Georgia’s secretary of state. His opponent, Stacey Abrams, could become the first African-American woman in U.S. history to be governor.
While voters were reportedly experiencing the entire gamut of issues at the polls — voter intimidation, voter suppression, poll worker apathy, and more — it seemed to be more pronounced in Georgia. In many instances, the issues were resolved quickly, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Election officials provided spare voting machines. But, then, that still begs the question why all of the voting machines were not made available to voters in the first place, what with all of the complaints about lines that routinely come with elections.