ATLANTA – Today, Fair Fight Action called on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to immediately compel all 159 counties to accept email applications for absentee ballots. The voting rights organization made this demand after learning that at least one county is telling voters that it is no longer accepting emailed applications for absentee ballots for the August 11 runoff election. As the Secretary of State knows, denying voters the right to request absentee ballots by attaching a picture of the filled-out application and submitting it via email is in violation of Georgia law and contradicts the information on the Secretary of State’s website.
“Given the complete meltdown of a primary election run by Secretary of State Raffensperger last month, it comes as no surprise that voters’ access to vote by mail continues to be limited under his watch,” said Fair Fight Action CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo. “Raffensperger must step up and immediately do his job to ensure that Georgians do not have different access to democracy depending on their zip code. He must take action, today, to compel every county in Georgia to accept applications by email. Only the Secretary of State of Georgia can provide the training and resources to counties to ensure that every Georgian voter is able to vote and have their vote counted.”
GA Code § 21-2-381 states (emphasis added):
(a) (1) (A) Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 21-2-219, not more than 180 days prior to the date of the primary or election, or runoff of either, in which the elector desires to vote, any absentee elector may make, either by mail, by facsimile transmission, by electronic transmission, or in person in the registrar’s or absentee ballot clerk’s office, an application for an official ballot of the elector’s precinct to be voted at such primary, election, or runoff.
The Secretary of State’s website states (emphasis added):
Absentee ballot applications can be returned by mail, fax, email (as an attachment), or in-person to the local County Board of Registrar’s Office.