Elections in the News

Extension of early voting hours: Contrasting decisions

Extending early voting hours up to Saturday was considered in Clayton County, Georgia. However, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the chairman of Clayton’s Elections and Registration Board gave up the idea because “workers were too tired and had already worked 12-hour days all week.”

In Evansville, Indiana, a candidate for governor requested the extension of early voting until Sunday, but Evansville Courier & Press reports that “County Clerk Susan Kirk refused the request, saying abundant opportunities have been available for 30 days and will be available again Monday.”

In Franklin County, Ohio, AP reports that “voters encountered hours-long waits at Veterans Memorial last week, and lines on Saturday ran the length of the building and out onto the sidewalk.” The Democrat members of the Board of Elections wanted to extend early voting until 7 p.m. Sunday. However, according to The Columbus Dispatch, the extension was finally not approved due to lack of quorum, because two Republican members of the board did not attend the Saturday board meeting. One of the absent Republican members argued that “extending the hours was a partisan “fourth-quarter” rule change to accommodate the Obama rally.” To this, one of the Democrat members replied that “‘We would have certainly gotten some (voters) over here’ from the Obama rally at the Statehouse (…) But that’s not why Democrats wanted longer hours.”

Recall that early voting hours were extended until 5 p.m. Saturday in half of North Carolina’s counties. Also, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that “Alameda County voters have an extra two hours to cast their ballots Saturday.”

Inés and Janell