Eight Georgia counties to allow Sunday voting

Eight Georgia counties will allow Sunday voting ahead of the Nov. 4 general election, with the latest approval coming this week by Athens-Clarke County election officials.

In addition to Athens-Clarke, voters in Chatham, Clayton, DeKalb, Floyd, Fulton, Lowndes and Richmond counties will be able to cast ballots on at least one Sunday during the state’s early-voting period, which begins Monday.

It’s the first time any local authority in Georgia has decided to open the polls to voters on a Sunday, despite no ban on the practice in state law. State law only mandates that at least one Saturday be reserved for early voting, but otherwise the schedule is left up to local officials. Other states have also allowed local officials to decide whether to open the polls on Sunday, including California, Florida and Nevada.

Alaska, Illinois and Maryland explicitly allow it.

The move comes as election officials and voting advocacy groups have tried to drum up early-voting attendance. Several groups on Friday launched a #PostThePeach social media campaign to encourage Georgians to get to the polls ahead of Election Day.

Early voters are encouraged to take a photo of their “I’m A Georgia Voter” sticker, post it on social media with the #PostThePeach hashtag and then challenge friends and family to get out to the polls early, too.

Officials said early voting eases congestion on Election Day and is more convenient for voters. More importantly, they said it allows time for a voter to correct any problem that may occur at the polls, including questions about registration.

Voters can go online to find early-voting locations in their county via the secretary of state's voter Web page, www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.