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No Saturday voting in Bryan County for runoff

Early voting in Bryan County will begin Monday and run through Dec. 2 for the Dec. 6 runoff between U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and challenger Herschel Walker.

That means no Saturday voting in Bryan County during the runoff, a decision at least one resident was questioning Tuesday.

“We are trying to teach my son the importance of early voting,” said Wendy Bolton, a longtime Richmond Hill resident. “Because of his job, he works out of the county, so he can’t make it to the polls during the week.”

Bolton said her son will be able to vote by absentee ballot, but had hopes the county would try to expand voting opportunities for everyone.

“It seems they would want to make it easier for people to vote,” she said.

Bryan County’s decision not to open its early voting locations Saturday stems from staffing and earlier guidance from the state, according to county spokesman Matthew Kent.

In an emailed statement, he said that “when the runoff was first determined to be necessary, the state advised that counties would not open early voting on Saturday, Nov. 26, as it immediately followed a state holiday. Bryan County Elections followed that guidance and did not staff for that date.”

Though Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger noted state law makes it illegal to vote the day after a state holiday, Warnock and other groups filed suit claiming the law doesn’t apply to runoffs, and late last week a Fulton Count judge agreed. He ruled in favor of the complainants, and the state Court of Appeals upheld his decision Monday.

It makes weekend voting optional, and as of Tuesday 13 of Georgia’s 159 counties had decided to hold weekend early voting, according to Capitol Beat News Service. Among them are Chatham County.

Kent said early voting at both locations, Pembroke City Hall and Timber Trail Gym, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Nov. 28 until Dec. 2. Precincts will be open Dec. 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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