Meanwhile, thousands of fans are expected to attend UGA’s first home football match on October 3rd.
The university failed to find a suitable place to host early voting on campus, UGAVotes, a non-partisan student group for voter registration, said in a statement Wednesday. The group had hoped that a personal vote could be held in the university’s large basketball arena to avoid long queues and crowded conditions, but the university did not believe it had the resources to clean the Colosseum at night, according to Marshall Burton Jr. and CEO of UGAVotes.
“From a student’s point of view, it’s definitely disappointing to see UGA prioritize football games and how long and hard they̵
7;ve worked to get to work and get to a good place where everyone feels comfortable,” said Juliet Eden. , senior and communications director at Fair Fight UGA, a division of the voting group founded by former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. “It’s hard not to see them fighting as hard to provide a safe environment for early voting on campus.”
But a UGA spokesman dismissed the idea that personal voting should be compared to watching a match.
“Those who compare this issue to a football match should be able to recognize that football matches will be played outdoors, but social distancing will still be required by significantly reducing the capacity of the stadium,” UGA spokesman Greg Trevor told email on wednesday. “We also eliminated the queue because we wanted to keep the campus as safe as possible and limit visitors during the pandemic.”
The school’s website says the Sanford Stadium, which can accommodate more than 90,000 people, will operate at approximately 20% to 25% capacity for football matches. And Athena Banner-Herald announced in August that the school’s athletics department had assured its amps that it would devote significant resources to measures such as more coronavirus tests and improved remediation procedures targeting the fall season.
The personal vote took place on the UGA campus for both the 2016 presidential election and the 2018 midterm election. This year, students can still use absentee ballots, which are increasingly used during the Covid pandemic. -19, or to vote on the spot outside the university in the center of Athens.
The university said it would provide a shuttle to the center’s voting center.
“This is certainly a disappointing decision in our eyes. But we are confident that there are alternatives to on-campus voting that will be able to complement this voting space,” Burton of UGAVotes told CNN. “We are by no means experts in terms of social distancing or remediation, so if the university does not believe that it has succeeded in implementing these safeguards to make voting safe for all, then in the end this is the solution, which will take do. “
The announcement drew the attention of a number of politicians in Georgia, including Democratic Senate nominee John Osoff, who tweeted: “I urge the UGA to reverse the course immediately and ensure students have a safe early vote on campus!”
Fair Fight UGA created a petition asking the school to change its decision and Abrams shared it, posting on Twitter, “# COVID19 should never be used as an excuse to restrict access to voting, including in college.” Within a few hours, more than 600 people had signed.
“If we can have football, we have to have a vote,” Fair Fight UGA tweeted Wednesday.