Cobb plans to offer Saturday early voting for runoff

Nov. 21—Cobb Elections has announced plans to have early voting this Saturday, following a Friday court ruling enabling counties to offer voting that day.

Cobb plans to offer early voting Saturday, Nov. 26 from noon to 5 p.m. at the following locations:

— Cobb Elections and Registration Main Office, 995 Roswell St., Marietta

— North Cobb Senior Center, 3900 S. Main St., Acworth

— East Cobb Government Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta

— South Cobb Regional Library, 805 Clay Road, Mableton

— Boots Ward Recreation Center, 4845 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office indicated shortly after the Nov. 8 election that put incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker into a runoff that Saturday, Nov. 26, would be set aside for early voting.

However, Raffensperger subsequently declared that holding early voting that day would violate a state law that prohibits runoffs on any day immediately following a state holiday. Besides Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, Nov. 24, the following day, Nov. 25, is a state holiday.

Warnock's campaign sued to force a reversal of Raffensperger's decision and prevailed in Friday's ruling by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Cox Jr.

"Allowing for Saturday early voting is a win for every Georgia voter, but especially for workers and students who will have a greater opportunity to make their voices heard in this election," said Quentin Fulks, Warnock's campaign manager.

While Warnock held a slight lead over Walker following the general election, neither candidate captured a majority of the vote as required by state law to avoid a runoff. Georgia voters will return to the polls Dec. 6 to decide the winner.

Last Tuesday, when it was not clear if the county would be allowed to offer Saturday voting, the Cobb Board of Elections voted 3-1 to offer it, in the event of such a ruling.

"I think we would be remiss if we did not at least attempt to have this conversation and provide for the possibility," Board Chair Tori Silas said. "We have traditionally had Saturday voting."

But the legality of Saturday voting could change again. MDJ News partner Fox 5 Atlanta reported Monday afternoon that Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr had appealed Cox's ruling, arguing that "the erroneous, last-minute changes to the election process—like the Superior Court's Order—not only implicate the public's strong interest in ensuring the State can enforce its election-law requirements but can also lead to voter confusion and incentivize voters to stay away from the polls."

Cobb will offer voting this Sunday, also from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday voting is available at the same five locations, plus the Smyrna Community Center at 200 Village Green Circle.

There will also be five days of early voting next week, Monday through Friday, at 12 locations, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

— Capitol Beat News Service contributed to this report.