Press Release: ACLU of Georgia demands Fulton County reverse plan to eliminate early voting on college campuses
ATLANTA – Representatives and concerned students from Georgia State, Georgia Tech, and the Atlanta University Center (Morehouse, Spelman, Clark Atlanta, and Morris Brown) recently contacted the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia after being informed by Fulton County elections officials that the county does not plan to provide early voting opportunities for students on their respective campuses for the Georgia General Election in November.
The ACLU of Georgia has confirmed that Fulton County officials do not plan to provide early voting on any college or university campus in the county. Tens of thousands of students who attend these schools would be deprived of any on-campus early voting opportunity if this plan comes to fruition.
The current plan eliminates the on-campus early voting opportunities available during the 2018 and 2020 elections. In particular, the 2020 election saw record turnout when Fulton County provided multiple days of early voting on campus at Georgia State, Georgia Tech, and Atlanta Metropolitan State College. Fulton County also planned in 2020 to provide similar access to Atlanta University Center students before the AUC went fully virtual due to the pandemic.
“College students in Fulton, already dealing with SB 202’s suppressive vote-by-mail rules, will now literally have to go to much greater lengths to cast their ballots,” said Vasu Abhiraman, senior policy counsel and deputy policy & advocacy director at the ACLU of Georgia. “We must ensure that all eligible Georgia voters have access to the ballot this fall, so we demand that Fulton officials provide robust opportunities for college students to vote early on campus.”
“We simply want a polling location, we want it for our students, faculty, and staff, to have an accessible way to vote. We shouldn’t have to fight for this opportunity, our goal together should be to turn out as many people as possible, each and every election,” said Mason Goodwin, a Georgia State University student and executive director of the Panthers Vote Coalition. “We know younger people typically have low engagement in elections. Part of that is accessibility, having a polling location on campus would help address that issue.”
The ACLU of Georgia calls on Fulton County to maintain early voting access on college campuses for the November General Election.