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(UPDATE) DeKalb County hasn’t published list of early voting locations

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(UPDATE) DeKalb County hasn’t published list of early voting locations

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FILE PHOTO USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES: A long line of voters gathered outside the Voter Registration and Elections Office on Oct. 12, the first day of early voting in the Nov. 3 elections. Photo by Dean Hesse
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Update: As of Dec. 7, the county has published a list of early voting locations. To see the list, click here.

Here is our previous story …

By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor 

DeKalb County, GA — Advanced voting in Georgia begins Dec. 14, but DeKalb County’s early voters still don’t know where to cast their ballots.

According to an Elections Board member, DeKalb County is the last county in the state to post advanced voting locations for one of the most talked-about elections in the country – the Jan. 5 Senate runoff race.

In a special called meeting this morning, Dec. 4, the DeKalb County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections members expressed confusion over final locations for advanced voting.

Earlier this week, the board approved 10 advanced voting locations and left three to be confirmed by the Elections director. But as of today, none are posted at DeKalbVotes.com.

Board member Susan Motter said, “We always seem to be the last ones posting this information to public, and it needs to get done ASAP.”

According to the Secretary of State’s website Georgia Secretary of State (ga.gov), which includes dates and times, 10 early voting locations in DeKalb County include:

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– Kerwin B. Lee Family Life Center, 2197 Young Road, Stone Mountain;

– Coan Recreation Center, 1530 Woodbine Road, Atlanta;

– Core4 Atlanta, 2050 Will Ross Court, Chamblee;

– County Line-Ellenwood Library, 4331 River Road, Ellenwood;

– Dunwoody Library, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody;

– Flat Shoals Library, 4022 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur;

– DeKalb County Elections Office 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur;

– Reid H. Cofer Library, 5234 LaVista Road, Tucker;

– South DeKalb, 2801 Candler Road, Decatur; Stonecrest, 2994 Turner Hill Road, Stonecrest.

Advanced voting locations in Downtown Decatur and Brookhaven are undetermined. In addition to last-minute location changes, advanced voting hours are different for the December holidays.

Drop box information for absentee ballots has been posted, but more may be added in the coming days.

Due to imminent changes Erik Burton, communications consultant for DeKalb elections, said to check the website for drop box locations rather than circulating a document.

Board members today certified the latest recount of the Nov. 3 presidential election, held last week across the state. Certification is required by law when there is any change in vote totals. The margin of error was approximately .009 percent, said Hamilton.

The difference in recount vote totals was less than 70. The election summary report showed President Donald J. Trump and Independent candidate Jo Jorgenson gained votes, while President-elect Joe Biden lost votes.

“We are not the only county in the state that is having to recertify the election,” Hamilton said.

In the hand count audit last month, DeKalb County had a discrepancy of around 200 ballots. Hamilton said she is working with Dominion and staff to figure out why there was a change in vote totals.

Board member Dele Lowman Smith said her concern is for transparency.

“Considering the minuscule change that didn’t have any impact on the outcome of the election, my concern is not with that. I would just hope that as we move forward, we get a better understanding of what leads to these types of changes, both from the state’s perspective … and with our processing of absentee ballots,” Smith said.

Board member Anthony Lewis said he was uneasy voting to certify the recount without more information on how vote count errors occurred.

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“I think this is a serious issue. We have had more than enough problems with our ballots up to this point. This is very concerning to me. Like I said, this is the first time since I have been on the board that I have felt uneasy about a certification. We are kind of positioning where we can’t go back and double-check our numbers because we have hundreds of thousands of ballots. We can’t answer the public,” said Lewis.

Board chair Sam Tillman said he plans to communicate with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Dominion, the state’s election system provider, “to find out what is going on, or what we can do at this level to make the public feel comfortable about their vote, and board members feel comfortable about certifying the vote.”

Lewis responded, “We have a paper trail and we have ballots now. For nearly two decades, people were asking for paper trails so that hopefully we could avoid these sorts of things, and now we actually have the problems that I think people were trying to avoid.”

The board voted 5-0 to certify the recount of the Nov. 3 election.

Correction: An earlier update of this story made by the editor indicated that the list had been posted, but that was incorrect. This story has been updated to reflect that the list hasn’t been posted as of Saturday, Dec. 5.

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