Published Sunday, October 21, 2012

Early voting should be extended to more than one location

Editorial

The second week of early voting for the Nov. 6 General Election will begin Monday. Early voting continues through Nov. 2. The hours for early voting in Coweta County are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and early voting will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Early voting in Coweta can only be done at one place — the voter registration office in the County Administration Building, 22 East Broad St., Newnan.Early voting has been popular since it was instituted in Coweta County and throughout Georgia. It’s particularly popular during General Elections. This year, we are electing a U.S. president and that means a particularly heavy turnout on election day. Two years from now, we will be electing a governor of Georgia. That, too, will bring out a much heavier turnout than in some other local primary elections.

During these General Elections there often are long lines on election day and on many of the early voting days. The idea behind early voting was to cut down on the long lines on election day and make voting easier.

Because early voting has become so popular ­— in some places up to 50 percent of those who vote cast ballots early — we think there should be more places where early voting takes place.

We know there is the cost factor involved. It takes money to have election officials at each polling place. We know it is now not affordable to open all 26 polling places for the three-week period of early voting.

But more than one polling place should be considered during General Elections. There are more than 60,000 voters registered in Coweta County. Geographically, this is a large county. Wouldn’t it be convenient for voters if there were at least three or four places where early voting could take place — if not for the full three weeks of early voting, maybe at least for one week?

The current early voting is a step in the right direction to make voting easier and quicker. We think additional steps should be considered in the future to make voting quicker and more convenient for the electorate.

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