Other early voting sites include a former Atlanta Hawks star training center, government offices and even a bus full of touchscreen voting screens. At least 130 voters at the Atlanta High Art Museum waited to vote.
At a distance of 6 feet from each other, almost all voters wore masks with some exceptions.
All registered voters have the right to participate in early voting, which allows them to choose a time that matches their schedule and to avoid the lines on November 3. Voters must vote in the county where they are registered, but they can choose any place within their county.
The early lines were created by unprecedented demands for interest and social distancing, but election officials said their goal was to keep the lines running and avoid problems like those seen mainly in Georgia. In the June 9 elections, high voter turnout, a shortage of polls and difficulties with voting equipment led to waits of more than three hours in some areas.
Take a lookWhy early voting matters more than ever in Georgia
Ryan Drummond, 42, is a new citizen and voter for the first time. By 8:30 a.m., he had already waited about an hour outside the early voting venue at the Mountain Park Activity Building in Gwinnett County. He still had ways to go on.
Drummond said he had decided to vote early because he did not want to wait for election day, and he was worried about confusing ballots.
“When I voted for the first time, I didn’t want to make the mistake of being rejected,” he said.
Roy Rustin, 74, arrived at Tucker’s library at 5 a.m. wearing his red bandana. He has a weakened immune system and thought he would get in and out quickly when the polls opened. He said he considered it his duty to vote, but did not trust the absentee voting system.
“I thought that if I was first in line, that would be the least dangerous way,” Rustin said, adding that he saw the vote as part of his duty as a citizen.
While voting shortly after 7 a.m., the queue at the library passed through the parking lot and onto the sidewalk.
Personal early voters will join the 439,000 voters in Georgia who have already returned their absent ballots. By the time election day finally arrives, more than two-thirds of the country’s 5 million projected turnout will have already voted.
Previous voters will use Georgia’s new voting system, which combines familiar touch screens with the addition of printed paper ballots. Voters will be able to review their choice on the paper printout before placing it in an optical scanner.
A judge’s ruling late Sunday allowed Georgia to continue using the voting system, refusing election defenders’ efforts to switch to hand-filled ballots.
Attempts at early voting will also differ from previous years due to coronavirus-related safety measures.
Voters will be located 6 feet away and will be separated from respondents by plexiglass shields when they register. Optional equipment will often be wiped and disinfected. Voters will be provided with styluses if they do not want to use their fingers on touch screens.
Take a lookGeorgia Election Guide 2020
There are more than 60 early voting seats in Atlanta’s four major metro counties, including more than 30 in Fulton County alone.
Voters can find early voting sites and a county election website or on the My Voter Page at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.
Early voting lasts from 12 to 30 October, including Saturday, 24 October.
Please return to AJC.com for updates from early voting sites on Monday.
– Staff writer Shaddi Abusaid contributed to this article.