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Early Voting - a Convenience or Necessity in Georgia?

 Much buzz has been created by the controversial memos by Senator Fran Millar, the champion of a proposed Lakeside City which this blog was created in an effort to stop, when he vowed to stop DeKalb County's Interim CEO from opening early voting up to residents on a Sunday (Oct. 26) prior to the next election.
Sen. Fran Millar wants to draw a map to exclude you if you don't
look or think the same way he does and he doesn't want you to have a vote on it, either.
Think that can't happen?  Well, it's happening here, in Tucker, GA, right now.

Regardless of whether or not that date is open, the important  takeaway from this entire debate should be that voting in Georgia, and specifically in DeKalb County, as elsewhere in the country, is low.  What happens when you don't show up to vote?  Well, small special interest groups who can control or influence the way others vote in their circle get what they want.  Corporations can change laws without you even realizing it because they convinced a legislator to put a question on a ballot and suddenly  your rights are taken away from you, bit by bit.  Laws that were once put in place to protect you are whittled away until they no longer have any value or serve the purpose for which they were originally intended.

Voting is the right of every American citizen.  It's not only a right, but a responsibility that should not be overlooked even if it is not convenient.  If the polls do not come to you, or the timing in your day is not ideal, you should still find a way to vote.  And, even if you have to work on election day, your employer must allow you the time to vote if the polls in your area are only open during your work hours.

Here is the official law in our state:

Georgia Code § 21-2-404
Employees that give reasonable notice to their employers have two hours to vote in any election for which they are qualified to vote. If the hours of work of such employee commence at least two hours after the opening of the polls or end at least two hours prior to the closing of the polls, however, the time off for voting is not available.

Early voting may make it more convenient for you, but it also might be a necessity for you if you work in a part of the greater Atlanta area that requires you to commute on I-285.  Don't forget that any given day could bring a traffic tie up that could keep you in gridlock longer than the two hour window stated in the law.  So, even if you THINK  you will have time, there is still a chance that you might not make it to the polls by the end of the day.

To make sure traffic does not prevent you from getting to the polls in time, consider early voting on your day off or on a regular work day, before or after work.  You can have your vote counted in the early part of the election and prevent the chance that you might miss out on impacting the future in Georgia.

Just consider that Georgia's unemployment is one of the highest in the country.  If you don't vote because of your job, and nothing changes here, it is possible that you might not even have a job next time, or the money for that car to get you to the polls.  

Even when we think times are good, we still need to exercise our right to vote and teach our children to do the same.  By staying away from the process because we are disgusted with the antics of those who control it, we are essentially giving them the power to continue.  Statements like Sen. Millar's may sound brazen, but when politicians speak divisive words they are likely trying to win votes.  But, when they get away with saying such things and are still elected time and time again, their words can turn to real actions.

If Sen. Millar's sentiments are not in line with your personal beliefs, it is not difficult to determine what else he has tried to do, like start entire cities with the maps he personally drew.  Any other questions about his intentions?  Simply read about ALEC, a group he has been a member of for years:

Sen. Millar wants cities drawn to further his agenda in DeKalb.  But, he cannot stop you from finding a polling place and casting your vote.  He wants you to think that unless you are "educated" on the issues, then you might be part of the problem because you are voting for the "wrong" things or the "wrong" people.

Regardless of whether or not Sunday voting is approved, voter apathy is a much bigger problem than voting for the "wrong" candidate.  If you don't know who to vote for but you don't like the way things are going, knowing what is "right" is as simple as saying "NO" to everything and voting for anyone EXCEPT the incumbent.

Problem solved.

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