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 common election. Voting rights teams stated on Monday that the adjustments 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 five early voting locations 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 common election, many by way of 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 areas due to extreme staffing shortages. “It was not our want to scale back the variety of early voting areas for the runoff, however, sadly, it turned a necessity,” she stated in an announcement.
However Georgia Democrats see partisan politics at play in a county that’s presently managed by Republicans. They famous that the areas that had been closed had been in largely Democratic neighborhoods, together with locations with massive 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 usually tend to dwell in poverty than different residents and can have extra issue touring lengthy distances to entry advance voting areas, particularly due to the restricted public transportation choices in Cobb County,” the letter stated. “Consequently, the elimination of advance voting areas will discourage or forestall 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 Honest Combat Motion, 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.