Election officials revealed two additional voting locations for the upcoming Senate runoff elections will be opened in Cobb County, Georgia, the third-largest populated county in the state and a crucial battleground.
The news comes after voting rights activists again accused election officials of voter suppression, voicing concerns that lack of accessibility limits access for Black and Latino voters. On election Day last month, Cobb County had 11 early voting locations.
Five polling locations were expected to be accessible for the early voting period for a race that has far-ranging outcomes, not just for the state of Georgia but for the entire country. Early voting begins on Dec. 14 and ends the Friday prior to the election, according to Georgia.gov.
Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock face incumbents Republican Sens. David Perdue and Sen. Kelly Loeffler in the Jan. 5 contests. Ossoff and Warnock each lead their challengers by 10 and 12 points in Cobb County, NBC News reported.
In response to the backlash, five total sites will be operational during the majority of the early voting period and two will be added in Marietta and Smyrna during the final week to accommodate the expected surge of last-minute voters.
“While these closures are likely to adversely affect many Cobb County voters, we are especially concerned that these closures will be harmful to Cobb County’s Black and Latinx voters because many of the locations are in Black and Latinx communities,” leaders from the NAACP and the ACLU said in a joint statement addressed to officials on Monday.
Election officials denied the accusation of voter suppression, claiming that lowering the number of poll sites was made in an effort to avoid overloading poll site workers who were overwhelmed during the Nov. 3 election.
The concerns around voter suppression in Georgia stem from a history of broken poll machines, poll site closures, voter purging and top election officials accusing congressional leaders and the White House of intimidation.
Last week leaders from Black Voters Matter and other prominent voting rights groups filed a lawsuit suing the state over voter roll purging.
'This Is A Crisis': Folks Share Georgia Voting Catastrophes Through Videos And Photos
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“This is ridiculous,” says Anita Heard, a 80-year-old who was first in line to vote at 6 this morning and is still waiting to cast her ballot. “Of course,” she says when I ask her if she plans to stay. “I worked for 40 years — where else am I going?” #gapol pic.twitter.com/4Cd8nwagG9— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) June 9, 2020
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Once again my neighbors in #SWATL are experiencing #VoterSuppression. Polls were supposed to open an hour ago and we are not being admitted. Apparently we don’t have the paper needed for these new voting machines. #votingday #atlanta pic.twitter.com/R0gPxqMaSM— Alyssa Thys (@alyssa_thys) June 9, 2020
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Huge downpour just now. And at this Fulton Co. polling location - it seems nobody left the line.— Blayne Alexander (@ReporterBlayne) June 9, 2020
Many have been waiting for 2+hours. When I asked how they’re feeling, one woman told me simply: “determined.” #GAPrimary pic.twitter.com/AOpvvuE97h
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People are waiting more than three hours to cast ballots in Atlanta. Look at this line 😳 pic.twitter.com/3IbVO6WiGO— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 9, 2020
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The is the line to vote at just ONE precinct in Atlanta right now.— Read Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (@JoshuaPotash) June 9, 2020
We need to push back now against having yet another election stolen.pic.twitter.com/NCfXxC7S43
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Massive lines, voting machine problems at precincts across metro Atlanta on this primary day. Some voters here at Park Tavern precinct in Altanta have been waiting three hours. pic.twitter.com/ngXvUnKbA1— Tom Regan (@tomreganWSB) June 9, 2020
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All 12 machines in almost all white Milton are working perfectly. There we're even two voting machine techs there to make sure. No lines, and almost no voters at— audiomagnate🔊 (@audiomagnate) June 9, 2020
Milton Branch Library
855 Mayfield Road
Milton, GA 30009#VoterSuppression#GeorgiaVoterSuppression pic.twitter.com/k3de1lOVV8
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I’m sorry but I need #GAVoterSuppression to go viral. Once again, my location Cross Keys High School, is down. People have been waiting since 7am. Machines down and no provisional ballots on site. #BLMprotest #BLM #BlackLivesMatter #VoterSuppression pic.twitter.com/DB9fLd3YbQ— De Popuweh Pin🇧🇧 (@TheHonorRebel) June 9, 2020
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Georgia Officials Add 2 Voting Sites In Cobb County After Voter Suppression Claims was originally published on newsone.com