COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has been getting a lot of questions from voters who are worried their absentee ballot will not arrive in time, and what to do if it doesn’t.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr has been talking with elections officials to get some answers. Here is what we found out.
Where are the ballots coming from? If you live in Gwinnett County, the ballot you receive will come from a vendor in New York. Anywhere else in the state, it’s coming from a vendor in Arizona.
[RELATED: Track your absentee ballot status]
John Saulson and his wife requested their absentee ballots from Gwinnet County on Sept. 3. Weeks later, they started calling with concern.
“They said, 'Well, hopefully, you should get it by the election. And I said, 'well that’s not very comforting. Hopefully, I’ll get it before the election,” Saulson said. "It’s in the mail. It’s coming from New York. There’s delay in New York. Check Ballot-trax, it’s been mailed.
Finally, by Tuesday their ballots arrived. Seven weeks after they first ordered the ballots, they’re in a dropbox.
“Doesn’t give you a lot of faith in the way we’re set up,” Saulson said.
Georgians are still calling our newsroom because their ballot-tracking notifications show confirmation their ballots have been issued, but there’s no indication of when they will arrive.
The state has confirmed that it is receiving reports of mail delays. The ballots are from out-of-state vendors, but 1.6 of the 1.7 million requests have been mailed, according to the state’s election office. About 500,000 have been returned.
You can do two things to check on your ballot: check with the postmaster and wait it out, or go to plan B and turn to an early voting site.
“You have to show up in person. So, you want to cancel your absentee ballot. And then you sign an affidavit, they’ll have to mark that absentee ballot as canceled, and then you will be allowed to vote in person,” said Georgia Voting Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling.
If you decide to go that route, elections officials encourage you to do it between now and Oct. 30.
Sterling said it’s a simple process.
“But it takes time. So, if you’re going to do that, please do it during the early vote time and not Election Day. Because that’s one of the things that led to lines back in June,” Sterling said.
No one can tell you when to stop waiting. You are still eligible to request an absentee ballot, but you need to keep in mind the possibility of mailing delays.
When you do get your ballot, be sure to vote by 7 p.m. on Election Day, even if you plan to use a dropbox. Those boxes will be locked at that time.
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