Georgia announces two more early voting sites after outcry from voting rights groups

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Officials in Cobb County, Georgia announced Wednesday they will add two more early voting sites in the lead-up to the January runoff election in a response to voting rights activists.

The announcement means there will be five early voting sites for the first two weeks and seven polling stations for the state’s final week, which was first reported by NBC News. The number of voting locations was adjusted after voting rights activists expressed worry about how Black and Brown communities would be adversely affected by fewer stations.

Groups like the Georgia National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and American Civil Liberties Union wrote a letter to the Cobb County Board of Elections Monday, citing concerns over adequate access to polling stations.

“We understand that you are planning to eliminate over half of the County’s advance voting locations, transitioning from eleven locations used for the 2020 general election to only five locations for the upcoming runoff,” the letter read, “While these closures are likely to adversely affect many Cobb County voters, we are especially concerned that these closures will be harmful to Cobb County’s Black and Latinx voters because many of the locations are in Black and Latinx communities.”

While the groups asked that the county maintain the 11 voting locations it offered during the general election, the county’s Election Director pushed back today, saying it is simply not possible due to a lack of manpower.

“Between COVID, the workload, and the holidays, we have simply run out of people,” Elections Director Janine Eveler said in a statement.  “Many workers told us they spent three weeks working 14- or 15-hour days and they will not do that again.”

As there are only two races for voters to participate in, the expectation is that less workers will be needed to get the ballots processed in a timely fashion.

The timing of the election, being just after the holidays poses an additional challenge, as people may be less eager to again participate in the electoral process during that time.

“We simply don’t have time to bring in and train up more workers to staff the number of locations we had for November,” Eveler added.

Cobb County played a significant role in the November election, recording nearly 394,000 votes, the plurality of which went to President-elect Joe Biden who won the county by over 14 percentage points, according to the county’s election results.


Incumbent GOP candidates Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are running against Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in a tight race, which will determine not only who wins the Senate seats, but which party controls the Senate Majority once Biden enters office.


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