A Diebold voting machine. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia sent letters to 20 counties encouraging them to adopt proposed recommendations for expanding early voting hours throughout the state today.
The ACLU has five recommendations in total. They are:
1) Provide at least two weeks of weekday evening hours extending to 8 p.m.
2) Provide at least two weeks of Saturday voting, with at least 8 hours each day
3) Provide at least two weeks of Sunday voting, with at least 8 hours each day
4) Provide multiple early voting locations that reflect where the populations are concentrated in each county
5) Publicly post early voting days, hours and locations at least 90 days in advance of an election
“Our democracy works best when everyone has a fair and equitable opportunity to participate in our elections. Georgia’s voters have long commutes, work long hours, and have demanding family responsibilities,” Andrea Young, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia, said in a statement. “All are entitled to a meaningful opportunity to cast their ballot.”
For over a century, most of America has limited voting to a single Tuesday. This is based on the agrarian makeup of the 19th Century, and is no longer a beneficial model, the ACLU contends. Limiting early voting to a single board of elections office and to regular business hours doesn’t make sense for residents who cannot take time off or arrange for child care.
“The letter [also] includes an open records request regarding each county’s plans,” Sean Young, ACLU of Georgia’s legal director, said in a statement.