$7.5M purchase will allow Cobb elections office to move into larger space

051820 Marietta: Voters wear masks and cast their ballots at least six feet apart the first day of early voting at the Cobb County Board of Elections & Registration on Monday afternoon, May 18, 2020, in Marietta.
051820 Marietta: Voters wear masks and cast their ballots at least six feet apart the first day of early voting at the Cobb County Board of Elections & Registration on Monday afternoon, May 18, 2020, in Marietta.

Credit: Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

The Cobb County Elections Office will soon have more space officials say will allow them to better manage and ensure effective elections.

The Elections and Voter Registration Department will move into 51,000 square feet of office space at the Mansour Conference Center at 995 Roswell Street in Marietta.

Cobb County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to purchase the building from The Center for Family Resources, Inc. for $7.5 million.

Officials said they hope the move will be completed next year.

Commissioner Bob Ott said the purchase was essential because the department needs all the necessary tools to run elections smoothly.

“My hats off to Janine [Eveler] and her workers because I don’t know how they get it done,” he said, referring to the county’s elections director. “The bottom line is Janine needs this space to get this done right.”

READ | Extreme voting lines expose where Georgia primary failed

Eveler told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the department’s current office at 736 Whitlock Avenue is only about 12,700 square feet. Renovations will need to be done on the Mansour Conference Center, but Eveler said she hopes the office can relocate some time next year.

“We’ve been trying to get more space for about eight years now,” she said.

The department, which has 26 full-time and 18 part-time employees, also has one warehouse where they store equipment such as voting machines and is using three old county buildings for additional warehouse space. The space at the Mansour Conference Center will allow the agency to place its operations under one roof.

The Cobb elections office is preparing for the Aug. 11 runoff and handling advance voting. As of Thursday, 1,313 people have cast ballots early at the headquarters. The department has mailed 52,455 absentee ballots and received 21,616 of those in return.

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During election years, the department hires an additional 130 seasonal workers and several hundred temporary agency workers who help during advance voting and with the testing and delivery of equipment.

She said the department is using the Cobb County Civic Center for training and expanded absentee ballot processing to include the Elections Office headquarters and the Jim Miller Park Event Center.

The elections board this week also submitted a request to the Cobb County Commission to spend $221,000 to mail absentee ballots before the Nov. 3 elections. Cobb has about 518,361 active voters, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. Commissioners will take up that request in August.

Early voting expands to the following locations from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Aug. 3-7:

  • North Cobb Senior Center, 3900 S Main Street, Acworth
  • Riverside EpiCenter, 135 Riverside Parkway, Austell
  • East Cobb Government Service Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta
  • West Cobb Senior Center, 4915 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs

No voting will be held Monday, Aug. 10, and voters will cast their ballots at their regular polling locations. Cobb voters can verify their precinct locations by visiting the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.

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