Ga. Secretary of State says absentee ballots to dramatically increase because of coronavirus pandemic

Ga. Secretary of State says absentee ballots to dramatically increase because of coronavirus pandemic

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Election day is just around the corner and this year it will look much different.

The Secretary of State’s office mailed out 6.9 million absentee ballot requests in light of the coronavirus pandemic to help voters make their voice heard.

While the Secretary of State’s office anticipates voter turnout to be typical, they expect more of the votes to come through the mail, about 50%.

“We were looking for about 2 million people voting and right now we’re over 1.3 million 1.4 million requests,” said Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “So, we actually may hit that number of two million it’s just going to be a totally different dynamic than we really were expecting obviously this time it’s going to be well over 50%.”

For comparison, in past general primary elections there were less than 40,000 absentee ballots. Secretary of State Raffensperger says they are confident in the security of the election with multiple verification points, locks and cameras at drop off locations. Additionally, he says they have added high-speed ballot scanners for these absentee votes.

While they expect voters to use this option more than in previous years, in person voting is still an option with early voting beginning in just a week. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says the process will be socially distanced, they recommend wearing masks and will have sanitation ready. He is confident in what they have done to prepare.

“I feel really good about it,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “Obviously, this is a once in a multi-generational, once every 100-year event and so whatever we do here 100 years from now will maybe have much better ways of doing it, but this is where we are right now. And so, we feel comfortable that we really made that unprecedented step to reach out and mail those applications and then we waited for the voters to respond and they’ve positively responded.”

Raffenspeger says they’re getting last minute equipment, and sharing their message with counties, but will be ready for election day on June 9th. They are still looking for poll workers and say if you are interested you can sign up online.

Don’t forget Monday, May 11 is the last day to register to vote you can do so online until midnight.

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