Increase Hours for Early Voting in Lumpkin County, GA

Increase Hours for Early Voting in Lumpkin County, GA

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Judy Kreps started this petition to Lumpkin County Board of Elections

Lumpkin County’s Board of Elections (BOE) recently voted to set confusing and arbitrary times for Early In Person Voting during the 2020 election cycle.  Hours are different for different weeks in the Early Voting period, and at their December meeting (12/17/19) the BOE declined to extend voting hours on Saturdays or  to include Sunday voting, both measures proven  to increase voting accessibility, especially for working voters.  In addition, during the crucial Early Voting period for the November General Election, the BOE voted to limit weekend voting to a single Saturday due to conflict with the Dahlonega Gold Rush Days festival.

In the interests of making voting easy and accessible to all voters,  we the undersigned voters of Lumpkin County, GA are asking the Lumpkin County Board of Elections to take the following actions:

1.     Standardize hours for all days of Early Voting for all elections to 7 am to 7 pm each day

2.     Include both Saturdays and Sundays in Early Voting periods

 

The data behind this petition are as follows:

-       “There is substantial statistical and anecdotal evidence that African Americans, and Hispanic [Americans] vote on Sundays in proportionately far greater numbers than whites”(1) which is significant, given that these groups make up a combined 6.9% of the county population (2).  Elections should always be conducted in a way that makes voting accessible for all voters in the county.

-       Restricting weekend Early Voting during the November General Election to a single Saturday places an undue burden on many voters, especially those who work standard hours and are unable to easily take time off for voting.

-       Maximizing Early Voting hours “eases congestion on Election Day and is more convenient for voters.  More importantly, … it allows time for a voter to correct any problem that may occur at the polls, including questions about registration” (3) – especially important in 2020 because Lumpkin County, like the rest of Georgia, will be using new voting machines in the 2020 elections and counties are expected to see record turnout, possibly exceeding 5 million voters across the state, according to the Georgia Secretary of State (3).

-       Sunday voting is popular and common in counties across GA, since 2014 (4) and (5), and has increased voting access in a wide range of Georgia counties.

-       These recommendations are in line with those of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, which has recommended that [states] “should make early voting more predictable for voters through allowing voting on Sundays and establishing more consistent and extended early voting periods.” (6)

Sources:

1) https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/legacy/Democracy/VRE/Brennan_Voting_Law_V10.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2AZ0kzybdCQa-U-k77EwJQK6cpzNShA8Z9x2QFTeVYUPCu3thEtmru0mw

2) https://datausa.io/profile/geo/lumpkin-county-ga

3) https://apnews.com/54f180201ffa8eb3758402dafde0ddef?fbclid=IwAR0QokmAEaloCLq8cYtqS1m4AkKKtoaspCefXuLdDkascpVsflrsrdjsbBA

4) https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/eight-georgia-counties-allow-sunday-voting/s62vBMo1NRnnYDa0em9SMM/?fbclid=IwAR2ZzvLbRfVQ99aGpTMJTY-J4jY-0x1hECY1uPuh38FL88e3jupd3MdLRIA

5) https://www.macon.com/news/local/article219433205.html?fbclid=IwAR24LStwddk2WzNLAWXxCfEuz4yCRuHzc0UmvmyR1mcXnrrgUVCOAZAKnQ4

6) https://www.usccr.gov/pubs/2018/08-20-LA-Voting-Barriers.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2ZzvLbRfVQ99aGpTMJTY-J4jY-0x1hECY1uPuh38FL88e3jupd3MdLRIA

 

 

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