There will not be any mass absentee voter application mail-outs for the Nov. 3 general election like there was for the primary elections last month. But Douglas County voters will still be able to take advantage of mail-in voting.
Douglas County Elections and Voter Registration Director Milton Kidd said the county will take part in an online portal where voters can submit their application to receive an absentee ballot.
Voters can currently go to www.mvp.sos.ga.gov to request an absentee ballot, check their registration status, view sample ballots and polling places and much more.
“We will participate in a meeting to learn more about the program,” Kidd said. “Every voter will get an opportunity to do an absentee ballot.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that he wasn’t going to do mass mailing of absentee ballot request forms like the state did for the recent primary.
Raffensperger cited the expense of mailing out the mass volume of requests.
However, the measure proved to be successful as over half of all Georgia voters, 1.1 million, cast an absentee ballot by mail in the June 9 primary, which outpaced the rate of mail-in ballots in previous elections.
The absentee effort allowed voters to minimize human contact during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kidd said that the county has 96,6533 active voters.
The state’s election board voted last week to extend a rule allowing counties to utilize absentee ballot drop boxes through elections in November.
In addition to voting unanimously to extend the rule, the board also will allow counties to begin processing but not tallying absentee ballots before election day.
A bill that would have barred election officials from mailing absentee ballot applications to Georgia voters failed to pass during the last day of the General Assembly a week ago.
Senate Bill 463 never received another vote after it passed the House Governmental Affairs Committee.
“Mailing ballot requests was a step taken to protect voters during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is far from over across Georgia and led to historic voter turnout in spite of COVID-19,” wrote 51 small business owners in a letter opposing the bill. “Removing that ability ignores the rural Georgia counties currently seeing increases in COVID-19 cases, and it bans local election officials and the secretary of state from taking that step to protect voters’ health in the future.
As coronavirus numbers continue to spike in recent weeks, there may be another big surge of voters requesting absentee ballots.