Georgia polls could be bare for election as thousands vote absentee

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 10:26 PM CDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Absentee voting vs. mail-in voting has been a hot topic as we approach a busy November election.

Lynn Bailey, executive director for the Richmond County Board of Elections, says she many people don't know the difference.

“The difference between voting by mail or absentee voting. I get that question many, many times a day,” she said.

Some states use mail voting only which means they send every registered voter a ballot no matter what, so you don’t have to apply.

Most states, like Georgia, require voters to apply for a ballot by applying -- and that means it must be verified before the ballot is sent out.

And Bailey says they do a thorough check of the voter's information and signature, making sure it's going to the right person.

“If that doesn’t match, then we contact the voter and we don’t send a ballot until we’re comfortable sending the ballot out, so there’s protections build in on the front end of the process,” she said.

Bailey says there's usually 6,000 people who send ballots by mail. But now, in June, they've sent more than 30,000.

“That’s a 2,900 percent increase over what we would normally send out. I expect that number to go up even higher,” Bailey said.

The Board of Elections announced they will send out pre-filled out absentee ballot applications to everyone.

“It’s to accommodate as many people ahead of election day so that we don’t have long lines at the polls. It’s the last thing we want is to have overcrowded polling places on election day,” Bailey said.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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