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 areas that had been out there within the basic election. Voting rights teams stated on Monday that the adjustments would hurt Black and Latino voters.
Mr. Biden received Cobb County, a part of the Atlanta suburbs, by 14 share factors, bettering on Hillary Clinton’s two-point margin in 2016. But the county is planning to open solely five early voting locations for the runoffs, down from 11, one of many largest such reductions within the state. Nearly 400,000 individuals voted in Cobb County within the basic election, many by means of early in-person or mail-in voting.
Janine Eveler, the director of elections in Cobb County, stated that the county was compelled to chop again on polling areas due to extreme staffing shortages. “It was not our desire to reduce the number of early voting locations for the runoff, but, unfortunately, it became a necessity,” she stated in an announcement.
But Georgia Democrats see partisan politics at play in a county that’s at present managed by Republicans. They famous that the areas that had been closed had 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 other officials to maintain all 11 websites open.
“Georgia’s Black and Latinx residents are more likely to live in poverty than other residents and will have more difficulty traveling long distances to access advance voting locations, especially because of the limited public transportation options in Cobb County,” the letter stated. “As a result, the elimination of advance voting locations will discourage or prevent many of Cobb County’s Black and Latinx voters from participating in the runoff election.”
Groups together with the N.A.A.C.P. and Fair Fight Action, the voting rights group led by Ms. Abrams, had provided to assist recruit extra election staff, however Ms. Eveler stated there wouldn’t be sufficient time to coach them.