There’s a growing controversy in Cobb County, Georgia over the closure of early-voting locations that serve a primarily Black and Latino population:
Cobb County, Georgia election officials plan to slash the number of early voting locations from eleven to five for the upcoming runoff election. This move will harm Black and Latinx voters as many of these polling places serve communities of color. https://t.co/H9SZxzAqPQ
— Legal Defense Fund (@NAACP_LDF) December 7, 2020
And the closure of these locations is being called “election rigging”:
This is what real election rigging looks like: Cobb County is closing early voting polling locations for the Senate run-off election, including those in heavily persons of color communities https://t.co/oIoDl2r4vi
— Michael McDonald (@ElectProject) December 8, 2020
But it’s not “election rigging,” or voter suppression or anything like that. It’s a staffing issue where the county is having trouble finding people who will work these long hours during the holidays in a pandemic. From the Washington Post:
But Janine Eveler, Cobb County elections director, said she doesn’t have enough staff trained in advance voting to operate the same number of polling places for the runoff, which has taken on national significance because it will determine which party controls the Senate.
“We lost several of our advance voting managers and assistant managers due to the holidays, the workload and the pandemic,” Eveler responded in a letter to the groups. She added that “the remaining team members who agreed to work would do so only if the hours were less onerous. … We are at the end of the election cycle and many are tired or just unwilling to work so hard, especially during this time of year.”
In an interview Monday, Eveler said the workers are seasonal employees hired and trained for statewide elections. She said that many of them were “not willing to work 14-hour days for six days a week for three weeks.”
Former Attorney General Eric Holder, however, thinks something nefarious is going on.
“Back to normal in Georgia. Closing polling places in those areas with high numbers of African Americans and most likely to vote Democratic,” he tweeted:
Back to normal in Georgia. Closing polling places in those areas with high numbers of African Americans and most likely to vote Democratic. Will the Republican “heroes” who stood up to Trump stand up for democracy here? No. This is what they do. This is who they are. https://t.co/fJ5ANGGlsX
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) December 8, 2020
Dem candidate called it all, “disturbing” and called for all the locations to be opened:
It’s disturbing that the voters who stand to be impacted the most are people of color.
Cobb County must change course and restore the 11 early voting locations so that Georgians can participate in this critically important election. https://t.co/EgdVyLLsUt
— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) December 8, 2020
Fellow candidate Rev. Warnock called for the locations to be opened, too:
Georgia voters turned out in record numbers this year — and we plan to do it again in the runoff. Cutting the number of early vote locations in half is unacceptable.
Your vote is your voice and we will not allow our voices to be silenced. Cobb County must reverse this decision https://t.co/G1tNdEfiQX
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) December 7, 2020
Well, if Dems want these locations opened, how about getting in touch with the poll workers who worked at them in November and kindly asking them to go back to work?