Early voting for Nov. 30 runoffs begins Nov. 17A voter shows their sticker and stylus after casting a ballot at the Decatur Recreation Center on Tuesday, Nov. 2, Election Day. Photo by Dean Hesse.
By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor
DeKalb County, GA — Residents of DeKalb County called in to the Nov. 8 DeKalb County Elections Board meeting to praise the success of the Nov. 2 municipal election, but it is clear the board is still experiencing the fallout of losing a department director in the middle of election season.
Voters were confused about several polling locations on Nov. 2, and board chair Dele Lowman Smith said the board was unaware they needed to alert voters to polling location changes.
The board needs “to ensure that we’re communicating clearly and following what the procedures we need to,” said Lowman Smith.
Erica Hamilton was the director of elections for five years. She resigned from DeKalb County Elections in October. Twyla Hart is the interim director, and has been described as responsive and graceful by board members.
At today’s Elections Board meeting, Nov. 8, board member Susan Motter said temporary polling changes made in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic need to be updated, and voters need to be alerted about those changes.
Voters arrived on Nov. 2 at their former polling place, Coralwood, but no signage was onsite to redirect them to Briarlake Elementary. Voters had not been informed by mail, as is the law in Georgia. The same thing also happened in downtown Decatur.
Voters “eventually figured it out” said Motter.
“I just wanted to be sure procedurally we are doing what to ought to do as a body, as well as the department. I unfortunately do not have a lot of confidence after the Coralwood-Briarlake change …” said Motter. “I’m just trying to be a stickler for the details to make sure we’re all on the same page.”
Hart explained some voters have a different precinct for municipal elections and county elections.
Early voting will be held from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Nov. 17-19, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Nov. 20, 12-5 p.m. on Nov. 21 and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Nov. 22-24. The runoff election is Nov. 30.
Early voting locations are Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library, 5234 LaVista Road, Tucker 30034; Stonecrest Library, 3123 Klondike Road, Lithonia, 30038; Bessie Branham Recreation Center, 2051 Delano Drive, Atlanta 30317; and DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office, 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur 30032.
Each early voting location will have a drop box for absentee ballots until Nov. 24. Voter must return an absentee ballot on Nov. 30 to the DeKalb Elections Office at Memorial Drive.
To request an absentee ballot, click here. Absentee ballot applications must be requested by Nov. 19, according to the new voting law SB202.
To check your polling location, click here.
All our elections coverage can be found at decaturishvotes.com.
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