Georgia county adds two voting sites ahead of runoff elections amid backlash

Georgia county adds two voting sites ahead of runoff elections amid backlash
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Officials in a Georgia county announced Wednesday that it will add two early voting locations ahead of the state's critical Senate runoff elections amid backlash over an announcement that it would cut down on such sites.

Cobb County, the Peach State's third-largest county, had 11 early voting locations in operation for the Nov. 3 elections.

For the Jan. 5 runoff elections, they originally planned to have five throughout the duration of early voting. Various voting rights and civil rights groups condemned the move, arguing it would limit Black and Latino voters' access, NBC News reports.

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In a Wednesday press release, county officials announced they are adjusting the number of early voting sites. For the first two weeks of early voting, five sites will be operational. The county will add the extra two locations for the final week of early voting in Marietta and Smyrna.

Among the reasons for the limited voting sites were staff issues, Elections Director Janine Eveler said, including rising cases of COVID-19, long hours during the Nov. 3 elections process and reluctance to work during the holidays, NBC News reported.

"Many workers told us they spent three weeks working 14- or 15-hour days and they will not do that again," she said. "We simply don’t have time to bring in and train up more workers to staff the number of locations we had for November.”