Gwinnett County could have three weeks of continuous early voting in multiple locations for 2020 elections if its budget request is approved.
The county elections office is part of the department of community services. In that department’s 2020 budget presentation Tuesday, Director Tina Fleming asked the county budget committee for nearly $1.8 million to increase the availability of satellite voting.
In the most recent countywide election, March’s MARTA referendum, satellite voting was available for two weeks, while advance voting at the Gwinnett County Voter Registration and Elections Office was available for three. The proposed budget for 2020 allows for three weeks of advance voting at the elections office and three weeks of satellite voting at locations across the county.
Satellite polling places would be open for three weeks straight, including Saturdays and Sundays. The polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, Fleming said. Gwinnett’s first Sunday of early voting didn’t occur until 2018.
Early voting will also be expanded from one week to two weeks for runoff elections. Satellite sites have not been previously used for runoff elections, but would under this plan.
If accepted, the extended early voting availability would be available for the March 24, 2020, presidential primary; the May 19, 2020, general primary, which includes the primaries for U.S. House and Senate; and the Nov. 3, 2020, general election.
The proposed elections upgrades are part of the $101.7 million proposed community services budget for 2020. The department encompasses elections, animal services, parks and recreation, libraries, the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, the county’s University of Georgia Extension office and senior services.