A Republican-sponsored bill in the Georgia House would shorten the number of early voting days from 21 to 12. Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, said his bill is about creating a more uniform voting system. “Cities and counties all over the state have different days, different times … The purpose of this was really uniformity,” said Hamilton. Under the bill, polling locations would be open on the 12 consecutive days before elections.
Until recent years, Georgia had allowed 45 days of early voting, and many took advantage. In 2008, 53 percent of voters cast ballots before election day.
In 2011, Republican lawmakers cut early voting from 45 days to 21 days. They said keeping polling locations open so long was costly to counties, particularly those in rural areas.
Hamilton’s bill, in addition to reducing the number of days further, would mandate Sunday voting in all counties.