In 2016 and 2018, the University of Georgia set up an early voting site at the Tate Student Center. The site proved wildly popular, but this year it won’t be happening.
UGA has decided not to have early voting at the Tate Center this year, and the university also rejected a proposal for early voting at Stegeman Coliseum, according to the student organization UGA Votes.
This prompted Twitter users to start dragging UGA, with many pointing out the university is allowing 23,000 fans into Sanford Stadium for football games. To which UGA responded:
After thousands more angry responses, UGA left the door open for early voting on campus after all.
Early voting at the Tate Center was spearheaded by state Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens) when he was president of the Student Government Association. Ironically, Gaines is now one of those who could stand to gain by making it harder for left-leaning college students to vote. His district includes the UGA campus and student-heavy neighborhoods nearby, such as Five Points.
Gaines has not made a public statement on early voting on campus, but his Democratic opponent, Mokah Jasmine Johnson, urged UGA to make it happen.
In-person early voting starts Oct. 12 at the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections office downtown and expands Oct. 24 to include four other sites. ACC also has five secure drop boxes for submitting completed absentee ballots.
As a reminder, college students who are not registered to vote must register by Oct. 5. Those who are registered in their home county but wish to vote in Athens must change their registration by the same date.
UPDATE: On Thursday, UGA confirmed that it has indeed offered up Stegeman Coliseum as an early voting site. The ACC Board of Elections has scheduled a virtual called meeting Friday afternoon to formally approve the proposal.
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