Ga. State Election Board gives green light to online absentee ballot portal

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 9:53 AM CDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia’s State Election Board unanimously voted to approve a rule authorizing the secretary of state’s upcoming online absentee ballot request form portal.

The online portal is currently undergoing testing.

State election officials said it will make it easier for both Georgia voters to request absentee ballots in the future and for county officials to process the dramatic increase in absentee ballots seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The state election board’s endorsement of the online absentee ballot request portal is a significant step forward for voting in Georgia,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “Already a national leader with automatic registration, three weeks of early voting and no-excuse absentee ballot voting, the new portal will keep Georgia at the forefront of voter access and security.”

On Monday, the state election board met to discuss and vote on a number of issues, including an emergency rule authorizing the creation of an online absentee ballot request portal.

The new rule authorizes Raffensperger “to create a system that allows registered voters to submit an absentee ballot application via an online portal.” The requester’s identity will be verified by matching the voter’s name, date of birth and Georgia driver’s license or state identification card number with information contained on file in the state voter registration system.

All other absentee ballot applications will require a voter’s signature that matches the signature on file.

Officials said the portal will make it easier for Georgia voters to request their ballots, while also saving on postage costs.

Additionally, the online system will make it easier to track absentee ballot requests to help overwhelmed counties better fulfill the requests that come in and send out absentee ballots in a timely manner.

The online portal is currently on track for public release later this month.

Copyright 2020 WALB. All rights reserved.

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