ATLANTA — The state election board has launched an investigation into Fulton County after voters who requested absentee ballots by email never received them.
Voters told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray that there is no sign on their My Voter pages on the state’s website of those requests ever being processed.
That means, those voters will have to go in person to polling sites, something election leaders have been urging us all to avoid.
Southwest Atlanta resident Imara Canady and his mother never got their absentee ballots.
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“You sent your and your mother’s in by email and heard nothing?” Gray asked Canady.
“Neither have come back,” Canady said.
Neither did Grant Park resident Daniel Caplin’s.
“It was the 6th of May I submitted over email my absentee ballot,” Caplin said.
Channel 2 Action News has received calls and emails from Fulton County voters who submitted their absentee ballot request by email and when they check their My Voter page on the secretary of state’s website, it shows no trace of it.
“When I go to the My Voter page, it’s difficult to figure out, that there’s just a grayed out thing to get my status,” Caplin said.
State and local election leaders have been urging Georgians to vote absentee by mail to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and avoid long lines that COVID-19 precautions are likely to cause.
Now the Secretary of State's Office is blasting Fulton County for the missing ballots.
Georgia's election director sent Gray a statement, saying:
“Fulton County has made unfortunate decisions that the state did not agree with. For example, they decided to process email applications last. Fulton County’s handling of the current election is under investigation by the State Election Board.”
Gray also contacted Fulton County about the issue. In a statement, they told him:
“While we have processed the almost every absentee ballot request, we have heard from some voters who submitted their absentee ballot request but have not yet received their ballot. Any voters who requested an absentee ballot but has not received it should immediately check the Georgia My Voter Page to review the status. If it does not show that it has been mailed, that voter may choose to vote early through 7 p.m. today or tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., vote on Election Day, or contact us immediately at contact us immediately at 404-612-7060 or firstname.lastname@example.org."
Canady worries the missing ballots will mean some Georgians won't be able to vote.
“People are trying to be a part of the process. People are trying to exercise their vote in this new normal and I just think the system has failed,” Canaday said.
When Gray told Fulton County he was reporting on this, he also mentioned he hadn't gotten his ballot yet either that he had requested by email.
Late this Thursday afternoon after we Gray them about this story, a manager finally responded to his emailed ballot from a month ago.
The absentee ballots have to be received by Election Day, so realistically it’s too late for people whose requests weren’t processed to vote absentee.
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