Today, the Georgia Election Protection Coalition released a joint statement about the Georgia State Board of Elections’ rules amendments ahead of the August 11th runoff.
The rules, which allow counties to set up 24/7 absentee ballot drop boxes for the runoff and give counties the ability to begin processing absentee ballots ahead of election day, will give more Georgians the opportunity to securely cast their votes while social distancing.
“We are pleased the Georgia State Board of Elections took very necessary steps to ensure that some of the issues faced in the June 9th primary do not continue for the August 11th runoff or the November general election. Georgia voters showed their commitment to vote during the primary, with over two million voters casting a ballot, and it is incumbent upon our state’s election leaders to make sure that enthusiasm is met with adequate processes to enable people to exercise their vote. These changes will allow Georgia voters to continue that momentum during the runoff, without having to vote in person. “Every Georgian, no matter what county they live in, should have the option of returning their absentee ballot via dropbox. While the changes made are certainly a critical step toward advancing safe and open voting during the runoff, we urge the State Board of Elections to ensure the rules mandate that all counties establish drop boxes and make them available for use immediately. Time is of the essence and we should not dampen the high turnout seen in the primaries by limiting drop off voting options to the counties that choose to provide drop boxes.
“Ahead of the general election in November, voters should be permitted to drop off ballots at polling locations and early voting sites in addition to drop boxes. Increasing options for voters will ensure greater access to the ballot box and keep Georgians safe as we navigate the risks and uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Georgia Election Protection Coalition includes the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, League of Women Voters of Georgia, the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda and GALEO (Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials).