Early voting in Decatur started with controversy Monday.
Jerome Edmondson, one of DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis's primary opponents, complained that voters would be "intimidated" because Ellis's office is in the Clark Harrison Building at 330 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., where a polling place is located. Edmondson said Ellis's photo should not be displayed there.
The photo was covered with paper, but DeKalb Elections Director Maxine Daniels says that's not unusual and wasn't done in response to Edmondson's complaint. She said photos of incumbents up for election have been covered for several years during elections.
As far as the location of Ellis's office, Daniels said that's going to happen whenever incumbents run for office and is not a good reason to relocate a polling place.
Burke Brennen, a spokesman for DeKalb County government, said county leaders didn't see a problem with the location of the poll, but "in an abundance of caution we just covered up the pictures."
The county also covered up photos of all the county commissioners hanging in the lobby near Ellis's photo.
Edmondson said Monday morning he filed a complaint with the Georgia Secretary of State's office.
But Jared Thomas, a spokesman for the Secretary of State's office, said Edmondson's campaign had called and asked about how to file a complaint, but had not actually filed one at that point.
Zee Bradford Brown of the Burrell Ellis campaign noted that the DeKalb County Elections office, not Ellis, chose to locate the polling place in the Clark Harrison Building.
Early voting for the July 31 primary started Monday at the Harrison Building. It will last through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. There are five other spots in DeKalb where residents can cast early ballots.