Bill would shorten early voting, mandate polls open on Sunday

Legislation in the state House would reduce the number of days eligible for early voting but for the first time mandate that polls be open one Sunday before an election.

House Bill 194, by Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, would reduce early voting from 21 days to 12 days and require every county to open polling locations on the Sunday during those 12 days. Polls would also be open on Saturday.

Current law calls for 21 days of early voting and mandates polls open on Saturday, but it does not prohibit Sundays. Eleven counties last year chose to open polling locations on Sundays, which led to calls from Republicans for statewide uniformity in voting.