(CNN) — House SpeakerÂ Nancy PelosiÂ speculated Wednesday that longÂ delays experienced a day earlier by Georgians votingÂ in the state’s primaries were “by design” and that Georgia’s secretary of state might be behind the issues.
“To see what happened in Georgia where in certain neighborhoods that are more affluent and more white, it took you 20 minutes to vote. But it took hours in other neighborhoods. That — one would be suspicious that that could be by design,” Pelosi told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on “Newsroom.”READ MORE: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Received Funding For A High Visibility Enforcement Initiative
Pressed by Baldwin on who she thought orchestratedÂ the issues experienced by voters on Tuesday,Â Pelosi replied: “Well those who are responsible. That would be the secretaries of state and those who are responsible in different states — it is largely secretaries of state.”
“But you have to make a decision to remove obstacles to participation in voting. That’s your responsibility,” the California Democrat added.
CNN has reached out to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office for comment.
Georgia Senate candidateÂ Jon Ossoff,Â a Democrat, also blasted Raffensperger on Wednesday, saying that while there is “blame to go around,” he was “particularly disgusted” that the official “refused to take any personal responsibility for a debacle that was clear to anybody watching.”
“This state’s chief elections officer clearly failed the people of Georgia yesterday in his most sacred and essential duty,” Ossoff said at a press conference, referring to Raffensperger. CNN has not yet called Ossoff’s race.READ MORE: Polk County School Cafeteria Worker Arrested for Murdering Boyfriend
By the end of Election Day on Tuesday,Â Georgia hadn’t declared the winners of its competitive races,Â instead declaring investigations into the issues. The state’s new, $100 million-plus voting system had not worked well, resulting in long lines for voters. County officials blamed state officials, who blamed poll workers, who blamed the machines.
In the early afternoon, Raffensperger said the situation in Fulton and DeKalb — two of the most populated counties — was “unacceptable” and opened a probe into the matter. He said there would “obviously” be a “learning curve” with the new system but that other counties “were significantly better prepared to respond so that voters had every opportunity to vote.”
Voting was extended to 9:30 p.m. ET in DeKalb County, which encompass part of Atlanta and some of its suburbs, more than two-and-a-half hours after polls were supposed to close, and at least one precinct stayed open until 10:10 p.m. ET. Voters reported standing in the hot summer sun for upward of four hours attempting to cast their ballots.
Michael Thurmond, the CEO of DeKalb county, similarly blamed Raffensperger on Tuesday, saying that Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, should launch a probe into what happened and that it was Raffensperger’s “responsibility to train, prepare, and equip election staff throughout the state to ensure fair and equal access to the ballot box.”
This story has been updated with comments from Georgia Senate candidate Jon Ossoff.
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