Friday last day for early voting in House district 34 special election

absentee ballot drop boxBallot drop at the South Cobb Government Center (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

By Rebecca Gaunt

With the Georgia House district 34 special election only days away, more than 2,000 early voters have already made a decision.

June 11 is the last day to vote early. House district 34 includes Kennesaw and part of Marietta.

Five candidates are vying to replace Bert Reeves, who resigned to take a position at the Georgia Institute of Technology in April. Reeves first took office in 2015 and was re-elected in 2020. If no candidate receives a majority, the top two will advance to a runoff regardless of party affiliation.

Here are the advance voting numbers through June 9:

Cumulative results:

Monday May 24, 202175
Tuesday May 25, 2021100
Wednesday May 26, 2021126
Thursday May 27, 2021135
Friday May 28, 2021189
Monday May 31, 2021CLOSED
Tuesday June 1, 2021159
Wednesday June 2, 2021179
Thursday June 3, 2021173
Friday June 4, 2021189
Saturday June 5, 2021184
Sunday June 6, 202184
Monday June 7, 2021178
Tuesday June 8, 2021222
Wednesday June 9, 2021186
TOTAL2,179

No provisional ballots have been issued.

There are two locations for advance voting: the Cobb County elections main office at 736 Whitlock Ave. in Marietta and the North Cobb Regional Library at 3535 Old 41 Hwy. in Kennesaw. Of the 2,179 votes already placed in person, 1,401 occurred at the elections office and 778 were at the library.

The controversial new voting law, SB 202, does not take effect until July 1, so the special election is being processed under the old law. This means the new rules put in place for absentee voting, including earlier deadlines and ID requirements, are not at play for this election.

Absentee ballots in June 15 special election:

Issued239
Returned139
Rejected Applications107
Rejected Ballots1
Ballots Cured0

To date, 239 absentee ballots have been issued, but 107 absentee ballot applications have been rejected. The Courier asked Janine Eveler, director of Cobb County elections and registration, why so many applications were denied.

“About half of the applications were rejected because the applicant was not in the district, this is common for a district election. The other almost half were received too early. There are some people who send in applications for all elections in the calendar year all at once, even if the election hasn’t been called yet. Then we had 2 that were rejected because they were sent in unsigned,” Eveler wrote in an email.

The Courier reached out to all of the candidates requesting to do a profile. Read their responses to questions about the issues at the links: Republican David Blinkhorn, Democrat Sam Hensley Jr., Libertarian Chris Neill, and Democrat Priscilla Smith. Republican Devan Seabaugh did not respond to the Courier’s requests.

Not sure if you’re eligible to vote in this election? Find your district here.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.

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