Absentee ballots are already being prepped ahead of Election Day, Georgia’s secretary of state says

ATLANTA — Monday begins the final week for early voting in Georgia, and new numbers show 2.75 million people have cast their votes so far in the state.

But as we get to the later part of the week, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger warns that voters may face lines.

Stay with Channel 2 Action News for updates on early voting throughout the week

Raffensperger is also encouraging people to return their absentee ballots – thousands have yet to be returned.

Channel 2′s Justin Gray went to Gwinnett County to watch county employees processing the absentee ballots.

The state election board changed rules to allow counties to open ballots, check signatures and scan them into the system before election day.

Raffensperger says the goal with that is that Georgia won’t be a state waiting for days for those ballots to be counted delaying results.

Counties are processing those ballots now and only have to push a button to count them on election day.

But voters first have to return them. Georgians have until 7 p.m. on election day to return ballots to any absentee ballot drop off boxes.

“The window for requesting and voting an absentee ballot is rapidly closing. And as I’ve said, if you are one of the 64,000 voters who have an absentee ballot that’s sitting on your kitchen table, please if you haven’t returned it, do it this week. Now is the time,” Raffensperger said.

The secretary of state also said he expects heavy voter turnout for this last week of early voting.

Gray asked him about the bandwidth problems that slowed down the first week, and he says he it looks like that has been resolved.