Voters in Peachtree Corners won’t find a question on their ballots about whether to allow alcohol sales in stores when they arrive at their voting precinct. To see that, they’ll have to go to city hall.
Norcross residents won’t be able to vote for city council, either, at the same time they choose their governor. They’ll need to make a trip to city hall, too.
Most cities contract with the counties they’re in to run their local elections, said Jared Thomas, spokesman for the Secretary of State. But in Gwinnett, the cities are on their own.
“Most people think of voting as going to one place,” said Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason. “To have to go to two places puts a burden on the voter.”
The county’s official policy states that it’s the large number of cities — Gwinnett has 16 — and limited resources that leads the county to tell cities they’re on their own, though the county will lease or loan voting equipment in some instances.
County voter registration and elections supervisor Lynn Ledford declined to be interviewed for this story, but said in an email that the county works with cities from time to time on elections, and did when Peachtree Corners was new and did not have a certified election superintendent.
Because most city elections are held in odd-numbered years, she said, when the county is not normally conducting elections, the cost could be significant. City elections laws differ from county and state ones, and would require additional training, she said.
Mason, the Peachtree Corners mayor, said he has encouraged the county to reconsider its stance. Of the roughly 26,000 registered voters in Peachtree Corners, he said, about 700 had voted as of Friday morning.
“I hope it doesn’t affect turnout,” he said. “Citizens were surprised they would have to vote in two different locations.”
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