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DeKalb officials demand new early voting sites for 6th District runoff

DeKalb County elections officials are set to consider whether to open additional early voting sites for Georgia’s 6th District runoff after prominent politicians complained their constituents had no easy access to a polling place.

State Rep. Scott Holcomb, who represents a DeKalb district that includes parts of Brookhaven and Chamblee, urged the county’s elections director to set up an early voting site in the eastern stretch of the district to adjust to “heightened traffic challenges” after the I-85 bridge collapse.

And Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst said in an interview the city will offer Briarwood Park as an early voting site to serve a swath of the district.

“The lack of early voting sites suppressed votes south of Dunwoody, and we look forward to opening more,” he said. “This is a nonpartisan issue. It’s about making it easier to vote at a time when people are going to be traveling.”



DeKalb elections director Maxine Daniels told Holcomb the board would consider the requests at its May 11 meeting.

Nearly 55,000 voters cast ballots at about a half-dozen early voting sites across the district, which spans from east Cobb to north DeKalb. But Democrat Jon Ossoff’s supporters raised concerns that the bluest part of the district – an ITP swath from Brookhaven to Chamblee to Tucker – had no early voting sites.

Former state Rep. Sally Harrell tweeted a photo of a graphic created by New York Times polling analyst Nate Cohn that showed turnout for left-leaning voters plummeted in lower DeKalb, and called for new sites in Tucker and Chamblee to open two weeks before the June 20 vote.

Republicans could make a similar request for more early voting sites in east Cobb and north Fulton. State Sen. Brandon Beach, who represents an Alpharetta-based district, said Republicans will make an extra push for early voting this runoff because many potential supporters of Karen Handel will be on vacation on election day.

“We need to be stressing early voting because on June 20, a lot of people will be gone,” said Beach. “June is a vacation month for many of my constituents and we all need to come together and emphasize early voting.”


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.