ACLU of Georgia

Press Statement: The ACLU of Georgia Implores Counties to Expand Early Voting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 18, 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: Dorrie Toney, media@acluga.org

College Students Will Once Again Be Able to Vote Early on Atlanta Campuses

ATLANTA—The ACLU of Georgia applauds the expansion of early voting options for the December 6 run-off election, and encourages all counties to make early voting as accessible as possible for Georgians.

Three college campuses (Georgia State, Georgia Tech, and Morehouse at the Atlanta University Center) will each have three days of voting on-site, starting Monday, November 28, the first required day of early voting in Georgia for the runoff election. Early voting locations at college campuses were critical in ensuring that college students could vote in the general election, when each of these locations was open for two days. 

However, despite the challenges posed by a shortened run-off, many counties have answered the call of Georgia voters by expanding access in critical ways, including:

    • Offering Voting before Thanksgiving
      • Many Georgia residents are out-of-state for school or other reasons and coming home for Thanksgiving. For them, the days prior to Thanksgiving may be their only opportunity to vote.
      • Douglas County will open polls from 8:30 am to 6 pm, at 7 locations, on both Tuesday, November 22 and Wednesday, November 23 before Thanksgiving. 
      • DeKalb County will open its main office for voting from 7 am to 7 pm on Wednesday, November 23.
  • Sunday Voting
    • With the status of Saturday voting up in the air, Sunday voting is critical. Sunday November 27 may be the only day of weekend voting, an option that is critical for so many working families in Georgia. 
    • The four most populous counties in Georgia (Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, and DeKalb) will open polls on Sunday.
    • Clayton, Chatham, Muscogee, Athens-Clarke, Newton, and Rockdale have also indicated that they will provide Sunday voting.
  • Expanded Hours
    • Voting can start at 7 am and end at 7 pm at any polling location. With the number of required early voting days cut by over 70%, Georgia voters need the maximum number of hours at each location. 
    • The four most populous counties will host early voting from 7 am to7 pm, as will Athens-Clarke, Dawson, Hall, Henry, Liberty, Lowndes, Monroe, and Muscogee.

For students, families, and elections workers alike, Georgia’s current 4-week runoff cycle presents incredible challenges. Early voting has been cut from 17 required days to just 5. As of today, just 18 days before Election Day, absentee ballots have not been mailed to voters. 

“We call on all Georgia counties to follow the lead of Douglas and DeKalb and start early voting before Thanksgiving,” said Vasu Abhiraman, ACLU of Georgia senior policy counsel. “County elections officials should take every possible measure so voting is convenient for Georgians and no one is left out of the democratic process.”

The ACLU of Georgia has filed an amicus brief in the Georgia state court lawsuit challenging the Georgia Secretary of State Office’s “official election bulletin” to county election officials and registrars instructing them that they are prohibited from offering in-person early voting on Saturday, November 26 for the December 6 federal runoff election. This brief was filed along with the Legal Defense Fund (LDF). We await a ruling in this case.

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