Election access advocates at the ACLU of Georgia are asking Fulton County to give college students on-campus options to vote early.
Vasu Abhiraman, senior policy counsel with the ACLU of Georgia, said the civil rights organization is worried there will be no locations after hearing from university and county leaders. He said they are concerned despite the fact that county elections officials have yet to finalize the list of November 2022 early voting sites.
Abhiraman said Fulton is a leader nationwide when it comes to the ratio of voters to early voting locations, but the campus issue worries them because students often vote via absentee-by-mail ballots, which were restricted when policymakers passed Senate Bill 202.
We are confident that “Fulton was not planning on putting any precincts on these campuses,” Abhiraman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
They are so confident that the ACLU of Georgia issued a news release asking Fulton to offer campus voting sites.
The announcement said leaders from Georgia State, Georgia Tech and the Atlanta University Center (including Morehouse, Spelman and Morris Brown colleges along with Clark Atlanta University) contacted the ACLU with concerns.
Students were able to vote early on campus during the 2018 and 2020 elections.
“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,” Mason Goodwin, a GSU student and executive director of the Panthers Vote Coalition, wrote in the ACLU announcement. “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.”
Fulton spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt said the county has made no final decisions and always wants to maximize the number of people legally voting.
“We look forward to continued discussion with colleges and other stakeholders and we are actively conducting voter education on college campuses and other community locations with our mobile voter education units,” she wrote.
Ben Brasch is the reporter tasked with keeping Fulton County government accountable. The Florida native moved to Atlanta for a job with The AJC. If there's something important to you going on in Fulton, he wants to know about it. Help him better metro Atlanta by dropping a line, anonymously or otherwise.