Absentee Ballots Taking 30 Plus Days to Process in Part Because Secretary of State Chose Arizona Vendor
ACLU of Georgia Urges State to Accept Ballots Postmarked on Election Day
ATLANTA – Delays of 30 or more days to receive mail-in absentee ballots – regardless of whether voters mailed their application using the U.S. Postal Service or via email – are completely unacceptable. By law, elections officials are required to process absentee ballot applications within three days.
One reason for the 30+ day delay is that the Secretary of State chose an Arizona company as the primary vendor to print and mail those ballots back to Georgia some 1,800 miles away. At last week’s Fulton County board of elections meeting, Director Richard Barron characterized as excessive the amount of time that Runbeck, the out-of-state vendor, is taking to process Georgia ballots.
“In good faith and a timely manner, more than 1.4 million citizens have sent in their applications for an absentee ballot. We have been contacted by numerous citizens who have said that they have yet to receive their ballots. It is unacceptable to use a vendor in Arizona – 1,800 miles away – that results in failing to deliver ballots in a timely manner,” said Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia. “The state of Georgia should agree to accept ballots that are postmarked the day of the election to protect our sacred right to vote.”
Young also recommends that the vendor overnight the ballots to Georgia which can then be delivered locally, because time is of the essence.