‘Chaos in Georgia’: Is messy primary a November harbinger?

By BILL BARROW

ATLANTA (AP) — The long-standing wrangle over voting rights and election security has come to a head in Georgia.

The state’s messy primary and partisan finger-pointing offer an unsettling preview of a November contest when battleground states could face potentially record turnout.

It raises the specter of a worst-case scenario: a decisive state, like Florida and its “hanging chads” and “butterfly ballots” in 2000, remaining in dispute long after polls close.

That would give President Donald Trump, Democrat Joe Biden and their supporters a chance to offer competing claims of victory or raise questions about the election’s legitimacy, further dividing an already roiled electorate.

Many Democrats blamed the Republican secretary of state for hourslong lines, voting machine malfunctions, provisional ballot shortages and absentee ballots failing to arrive in time for Tuesday’s elections.

Biden’s presidential campaign called it “completely unacceptable.”

Georgia Republicans deflected responsibility to metro Atlanta’s heavily minority and Democratic-controlled counties, while Trump’s top campaign attorney decried “the chaos in Georgia.”

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