Voters who did not received the request form mailed out by the State Elections Division, or those wishing to register to vote in the June 9 election, should contact the local Registrar's Office at (706) 886-8954.
Today’s announcement by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, pushing back the May 19 election day until June 9, was an unexpected announcement for local elections officials.
“We were told about the decision in a conference call this morning, “Stephens County Registrar Eureka Gober told ConnectLocal.
Raffensperger disclosed the decision in a press release posted to the Secretary of State’s website at approximately 10 a.m., but has made no public comment, nor scheduled a press briefing on the matter, as of 11:30 a.m. this morning, April 19.
The Stephens County Elections Office is continuing to collect absentee voter request forms, but has not been advised by Raffensperger when they are to begin mailing out ballots, Gober said.
OnMarch 15, Raffensperger announced that, due to concerns over voter safety in light of the spread of COVID-19, the Presidential Preference Primary early voting and in person voting that began on March 2, was suspended, and the PPP March 24 election day would be moved to May 19 and held in conjunction with the General Primary and Nonpartisan Election.
On March 24, Raffensperger announced that he would mail absentee ballot request forms to the. 6.9 million registered voters in the state.
“This extraordinary effort to ensure all Georgians can vote without fear for their health will supplement extra measures to ensure those who rely on in-person voting to access the ballot can do so safely,” he stated.
The absentee ballot request form collects voter information, a signature, and the voters ballot preference – republican, democratic, or non-partisan.
An updated 2020 elections calendar distributed shortly after Raffensperger’s March 24 announcement stated March 31 was the first day local registrars would be able to mail out absentee ballots for the May 19 election.
No absentee ballots for the May 19 election have been sent out, Gober advised ConnectLocal this morning, saying that the county was still processing incoming absentee request forms that had been sent to the office.
“We really want people to send those completed request forms in,” she stated, adding that anyone who did not receive the request form in the mail, to contact her office at (706) 886-8954 in order to arrange to vote by mail in the Presidential Preference Primary/General Primary Election/Non Partisan Election now scheduled for June 9. Under Georgia voting laws, any registered voter may vote by mail; no criteria must be met, and no reason must be given for requesting an absentee ballot.
Voter registration for the General Primary Election/Non Partisan Election, which was originally set on April 20 for the May 19 election day, has now been extended to May 11. Voters wishing to register to vote should contact the Stephens County Registrar’s Office.
Early in-person voting will begin on May 18; information on where early voting will take place has not been announced by the Stephens County Registrar’s office as of yet.
Any runoff election necessary after the June 9 election will be held on August 11.
Fraud Task Force
On April 6, Raffensperger announced that he would be creating a task force to protect Georgia’s vote-by-mail push from fraud. The task force will be setting up rules for investigation of signature mismatches on absentee ballots, and for investigation of multiple votes received from a single address as well as investigations conducted when a citizen registers to vote using an address that is not their physical address – such as a P.O. Box.