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Nearly half of Hall voters have requested absentee ballots
0407 ELEX
Voters are being mailed applications to vote absentee in the May 19, 2020, primary. - photo by Shannon Casas

Nearly half of all active registered voters in Hall County have requested an absentee ballot for the June 9 primary elections.

Hall County Elections Director Lori Wurtz said roughly 60,000 absentee ballot applications have been received as of Thursday, April 30. There are 125,650 active registered voters in Hall County. 

The state has now received more than a million requests from Georgia voters.  When he postponed the May 19 primary elections because of the coronavirus outbreak, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger encouraged people to vote by mail. 

Election officials said they mailed a form that can be used to request an absentee ballot to all 6.9 million active registered voters.

"Now we can see that effort is exceeding far past our own aspirations," Raffensperger said at a news conference Thursday. "Today, we are passing the 1 million mark in absentee ballot requests. This is unprecedented."

Raffensperger noted that four years ago, in the last statewide general primary in a presidential election year, a total of about 37,200 absentee ballots were cast. 

Absentee ballots must be received by June 9 in order to be counted. Voters can return the ballot application by mail and can return their ballots by mail or in a specially established absentee ballot drop box to avoid an in-person trip to the polls and potential exposure to the virus.

Raffensperger's office said 700,000 ballots have already been mailed to voters. People will still be able to vote in person as well, both during early voting starting May 18 and on June 9.

Some Hall County voters have received absentee ballots with an incorrect congressional district listed, although the candidates listed are correct and the ballots can still be used. Voters can also call the elections office at 770-531-6945 and request a new ballot.

The incorrect ballots include a heading for Georgia’s 1st Congressional District. Hall County is in the 9th Congressional District. 

It was still unclear Thursday how many ballots were affected.

Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley said the state is “working to get us that number” and the county has not received any requests for new ballots.

“The Hall County Elections Office is working with the state to reissue the ballots affected if requested by the voter,” Crumley previously told The Times. “The error will not impact ballot tabulation in any way."

Absentee ballots include the date May 19, the date for which the primary had previously been scheduled. The primary was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but ballots with the May 19 date will be sent to voters and will be counted. 

Voters also are making decisions in the presidential preference primary and a special election in Hall County for bond referendums and a sales tax for education that was originally set for March 24. The bond referendum for Hall County appears on Gainesville city residents ballots in error. Any votes from city residents on that item will not be counted, county elections officials have previously said. 

Early voting had begun for those items, and elections officials have said voters who already cast ballots on those items will not vote again but will receive ballots specific to them. 

The voter registration deadline for the June 9 election is May 11. 

Voters can view their sample ballot at mvp.sos.ga.gov.

The Associated Press and Megan Reed contributed to this report.




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