For the Senate runoff races, election officers in Cobb County, the state’s third most populous county, are planning to open fewer than half of the early voting places that have been obtainable within the basic election. Voting rights teams stated on Monday that the modifications would hurt Black and Latino voters.
Mr. Biden gained Cobb County, a part of the Atlanta suburbs, by 14 share factors, enhancing on Hillary Clinton’s two-point margin in 2016. However the county is planning to open solely 5 early voting places for the runoffs, down from 11, one of many largest such reductions within the state. Almost 400,000 individuals voted in Cobb County within the basic election, many by early in-person or mail-in voting.
Janine Eveler, the director of elections in Cobb County, stated that the county was pressured to chop again on polling places due to extreme staffing shortages. “It was not our want to cut back the variety of early voting places for the runoff, however, sadly, it grew to become a necessity,” she stated in a press release.
However Georgia Democrats see partisan politics at play in a county that’s at the moment managed by Republicans. They famous that the places that have been closed have been in largely Democratic neighborhoods, together with locations with giant Black and Latino populations.
Voting rights and civil rights teams pleaded in a letter to Ms. Eveler and different officers to maintain all 11 websites open.
“Georgia’s Black and Latinx residents usually tend to stay in poverty than different residents and may have extra problem touring lengthy distances to entry advance voting places, particularly due to the restricted public transportation choices in Cobb County,” the letter stated. “In consequence, the elimination of advance voting places will discourage or stop a lot of Cobb County’s Black and Latinx voters from collaborating within the runoff election.”
Teams together with the N.A.A.C.P. and Truthful Combat Motion, the voting rights group led by Ms. Abrams, had supplied to assist recruit extra election employees, however Ms. Eveler stated there wouldn’t be sufficient time to coach them.