ATLANTA (AP) – Cobb County’s electoral director Janine Eveler’s most pressing problem in complying with Georgia’s new electoral law ahead of the June 15 special is finding heavy equipment to put up a large sign outside a church that’s not as a constituency.

In Cobb, a new state representative for House District 34 is elected to replace the resigned MP Bert Reeves. It is one of six such special elections taking place on Tuesday. They will be the first to implement 44 provisions of the controversial new electoral law in Georgia. Parts of the legislation are in effect while the law is facing seven different lawsuits at the same time.

A section of the new law requires advance notice with large signs in front of a changed and no longer used polling station. The move was one of the few bipartisan provisions of the law to be extracted from a bill tabled by freshman Senator Nikki Merritt, a Grayson Democrat.

“The biggest problem right now is finding a ‘metal fence post driver’ and people strong enough to put a four-by-four-foot sign on a church that we no longer use for a survey,” Eveler said . “The sign has to be in the ground on their property a week before the election, and it’s huge.”

There are six sections of the law that don’t come into effect until July 1st. The rest went into effect when Governor Brian Kemp signed the law on March 25th.

The new law not only requires identification when applying for a postal vote, but also shortens the days that are permitted for applying for a postal vote, shortens early voting before run-off elections, provides fewer mailboxes than permitted during the pandemic, makes it possible State to take over the county’s polling stations and prevent people from giving food and water to voters within 45 meters of a polling station.

Eveler said the part that won’t go into effect mostly concerns postal votes. In the case of the special election, the time window for applying for absentee votes was the same, and the ballot papers are still verified by comparing signatures instead of driver’s license numbers or other means of identification.

“The hardest thing about the House District 34 special election is just doing the things that are in effect now and remembering not to do the things that come into effect July 1st,” she said.

Cobb County Commission chairwoman Lisa Cupid, a Democrat, said she heard from voters and even people outside of the state who are unsettled by the new law, especially after the Major League Baseball all-star game following controversy to move the Atlanta electoral law.

“People here in the county were very concerned about it,” Cupid said at a recent news conference with Fresh Take Georgia. “It will be interesting to see if there will be a movement that will help change some of the provisions of this bill before next year’s elections.”

This story was produced by Fresh Take Georgia, an intelligence agency for the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University. The reporter can be reached at aceballos@freshtakegeorgia.org.