FORSYTH COUNTY — The Forsyth County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections has decided not to extend early voting to Sundays this election cycle.
After receiving emails asking for the option, the panel decided against it at this time due to religious and financial factors.
“One [member] had basis on religious reasons,” said Barbara Luth, Forsyth’s elections supervisor, of the decision made during a meeting Monday. “The cost of it, to have manpower opening up polls for Sunday, we do Saturday voting and that in itself can get costly.”
The lack of time to promote Sunday voting also was a factor.
“We would not have enough time prior to this election to put all of our effort into advertising to get Sunday votes in,” Luth said. “If we don’t have big turnout, your cost per ballot, if we only have a couple people show up, goes way up.”
The board may revisit the Sunday voting possibility for future elections.
“They are going to bring it back to the table for 2016 and see, because we know that’s a big election year,” Luth said. “If they would decide in 2015 for that, if they did decide to have Sunday voting, we would be able to advertise everything and get it out so that people would know ahead of time.”
The 2016 election will include a U.S. presidential race.
Saturday voting is still a relatively new concept in Forsyth County, though Luth said it’s growing in popularity.
“We have not ever done Sunday voting before,” she said. “We had not done Saturday voting until the last few years, and the Saturday voting has picked up. It’s not big, but it has picked up.”
Monday was the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 4 General Election.
Although there are no local contested races on the ballot, it contains several state offices, including governor, U.S. senator, state school superintendent and both of the county’s congressional seats. Also featured is a transportation bond referendum in Forsyth.
Early voting starts Oct. 13 at the county administration building in downtown Cumming. Saturday voting is set for Oct. 25 there and at four other locations. All five sites will be open to voters the week of Oct. 27-31.
The other four locations include Hampton Park Library, Cumming City Hall, Midway Park Community Building and Sharon Springs Park Community Building.