After 2016’s long lines, Gwinnett may add more early voting days

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After 2016’s long lines, Gwinnett may add more early voting days

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TYLER ESTEP / TYLER.ESTEP@AJC.COM
Hundreds of people lined up outside the Gwinnett County elections office in October for the first day of 2016 early voting. 

Gwinnett elections officials want the county to consider offering residents an extra week of advance voting during general elections — and the chance to vote on Sundays, too.

The county’s Department of Community Services, which oversees the voter registrations and elections division, made the requests this week during a 2018 budget proposal presentation.

The requests ask for the county to double the days of advance voting to 12 (a $378,000 proposition for 2018) and to add one half-day of Sunday voting (which would cost just over $13,000 in 2018).

During early voting prior to 2016’s presidential election, Gwinnett nearly doubled its previous record for early ballots  cast, and voters often endured waits that were several hours long. Stephen Day, the chairman of the county’s Voter Registration and Election Board, said doubling the number of days polls are available would “basically obliterate” those wait times.

Sunday voting would offer yet another option for time-crunched residents, Day said.

Gwinnett does not currently have any countywide elections scheduled for 2017. Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash has said she wants the county to have a referendum in 2018 on some kind of transit expansion — a hot button issue that would likely generate significant turnout.

Nash will not release her countywide budget proposal for 2018 until late November.

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