MACON, Ga. -- The Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections made a last minute decision Thursday night to approve a day of Saturday voting.
The board chose Saturday, December 19 for all early voting precincts to be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Voting rights groups The New Georgia Project and Democracy Docket, have filed lawsuits against four Georgia counties including Bibb, Clarke, Houston, and Paulding, for failing to offer sufficient early voting for the January 5 run-off election.
According to Mike Kaplan, the board's chair, Saturday voting isn't required by Georgia law for run-offs.
However, the choice to have a Saturday voting day was a nearly unanimous decision among the five member board.
The board is made up of two Republican members, two Democrat members, and an independent chair. The votes fell 4 to 1.
"Some people just don't see the need for early voting," Kaplan says, "they're free to vote however they want. The majority of the board felt it was the only fair thing to do."
The chairman feels the board has had to make a number of tough decisions this election season, and has done a good job thus far.
For the upcoming run-off, the three weeks of early voting will run during holidays like Christmas and New Years. So, the board will be closed for three days to observe them, meaning fewer days for voters to cast their ballots.
Kaplan, who voted in favor of the Saturday voting day, also notes that the weekend day is helpful for those who work and aren't able to make it to a precinct during the week.
There are three voter precincts open for early voting:
According to the Secretary of State's Advanced Voting Location Information, other counties named in the lawsuit have not adjusted their early voting schedule to include a say of Saturday voting.
For more information on what you need in order to cast your ballot and where to go on Election Day, visit the My Georgia Voter page through the Secretary of State's Office.