Cobb adds early voting locations after criticism

Cobb County elections officials said Wednesday that they plan to add two additional early voting locations. Cobb had planned to open just five early voting locations after having 11 for the November general election. Cobb had come under fire from Democratic Senate candidates and voting rights groups, . who said that Black and Hispanic voters would be disproportionately impacted by the changes. The new additional sites will only be open during the third and final week of early voting

Cobb County elections officials said Wednesday that they plan to add two additional early voting locations in response to concerns about the number and distribution of sites ahead of the January 5 Senate runoffs.

Cobb had planned to open just five early voting locations after having 11 for the November general election. The changes will bring the number up to seven, but the new additional sites will only be open during the third and final week of early voting.

The two locations are the Arts Place-Mountain View in Marietta and the Smyrna Community Center in Smyrna.

Additionally, the Ward Recreation Center early voting location will move to the Ron Anderson Community Center in Powder Springs.

Cobb had come under fire from Democratic Senate candidates and voting rights groups, who said that Black and Hispanic voters would be disproportionately impacted by the changes.

Elections Director Janine Eveler has said staffing issues prevented her office from opening more advance voting sites for the runoff. Cobb is the only major metro county to drastically reduce the number of sites from the general election.

“Between COVID, the workload, and the holidays, we have simply run out of people,” Eveler said, according to a statement Wednesday. “Many workers told us they spent three weeks working 14- or 15-hour days and they will not do that again. We simply don’t have time to bring in and train up more workers to staff the number of locations we had for November.”

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