ROSWELL, Ga. (TheBlaze/AP) — Election officials in the Atlanta area are defending their decision to allow singer Usher to bypass long lines and cast his ballot on Election Day, infuriating voters who had to wait.
Fulton County election officials tell WSB-TV that Usher Raymond IV was escorted to the front of the line to minimize distractions at his Roswell polling place. They said in a statement that poll manager Frank Padula was directed to move Usher through the process as quickly as possible.
“I take the voting process very seriously, and I was just taken aback that this was allowed to happen,” said Alan Christian, a frustrated voter who had been waiting in line for 45 minutes when the incident occurred.
Usher took cellphone pictures of himself voting, then posted them on Twitter. But according to Christian, others were told they could not do the same. According to WSB-TV, “Georgia law states it’s illegal to take picture or video inside a polling place, unless given consent by the poll manager.” Usher was given special permission to snap the images as well.
“If he wanted to make a media announcement, he could have stood in line like everybody else,” Christian added, going on to say that if the county was truly fearful of a disturbance, Usher should have voted absentee.
Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann questioned the decision. Hausmann said she can think of only a few people who might deserve such treatment, such as people with disabilities, the elderly and voters with small children.