Tuesday primaries: Georgia races head for runoff; Nevada counting

Voters wait to cast ballots in DeKalb County, Ga., on Tuesday in the state's primary election. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE
Voters wait to cast ballots in DeKalb County, Ga., on Tuesday in the state's primary election. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

June 10 (UPI) -- Election officials in Georgia said Wednesday several primary nominating contests are headed to runoffs, after a late night of voting and problems at polling places in the state.

Voting locations closed more than two hours late on Tuesday and there were long lines at polling stations on primary day, along with trouble using some voting machines.


Problems were prevalent in the Atlanta area, including DeKalb County northeast of the city. Some congressional, state and local races remained uncalled Wednesday due to the delays.

Incumbent Democratic Rep. John Lewis and Republican candidates Karen Handel and Rich McCormick won their contests, but there will be at least five runoff elections in Georgia's congressional races.

Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff is trying to avoid a runoff. By early Wednesday, he'd won 49 percent of votes. Candidates need to earn 50 percent to avoid a runoff.

Officials said the problems were facilitated by a large turnout, new machines, untrained poll workers and busy "mega polling locations" that featured COVID-19 safety precautions. State officials said many traditional voting sites were not suitable this year.


Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger promised an investigation into the difficulties.

In South Carolina, Sen. Lindsey Graham easily won his Republican primary over three challengers with more than two-thirds of the vote. The win sets up a November race with Democrat Jaime Harrison, who ran unopposed. Some recent polls show a close race.

Harrison challenged Graham on Wednesday to four debates before the Nov. 3 general election.

"While we may disagree on many issues, I am sure we can agree that Palmetto State voters deserve to hear where we each stand on the vital questions facing South Carolina and the country," Harrison said.

In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice easily won the GOP primary and will face Democrat Ben Salango, a Kanawha County commissioner, who bested two opponents on Tuesday.

Nearly 200,000 absentee ballots were sent, officials said, far more than the 6,700 that were mailed in 2016.

In Nevada, voters also waited in long lines partly due to COVID-19 restrictions. Early results showed victories for incumbent Democratic Reps. Steven Horsford and Susie Lee. Who they will face in November, however, is unclear.

Former professional wrestler Dan Rodimer leads in his Republican race to face Lee in the general election, as does former legislator Jim Marchant in his bid to unseat Horsford.


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