Provide Clear Mail-In Voting Guidelines for Georgia Voters
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My name is Katherine, and I’m a voter in Atlanta, GA. This past November election was the 3rd presidential election that I’ve voted in. Even though all of the votes in the November election have been counted, there is still more work to be done for the runoff election.
As you all know, this has been the first time in a long time that Georgia has been a battleground state. Furthermore, with the runoff election set to take place in January, that means that Georgia’s voter turnout will be instrumental in shaping the country’s political climate for the next several years. It has never been more important than it is now that every vote is accounted for.
The situation with Georgia’s mail-in ballots a couple of weeks ago was disorganized, to say the least. I feel that this is the case largely because the guidelines for submitting absentee ballots are very unclear. See details from my own personal experience below.”
“I have family members that are immuno-suppressed and I work with public school students, so I knew mail-in voting was the safest choice for me. I filled out my ballot and took it to the ballot box near the Waffle House in Decatur Square. I moved to Decatur—which is a part of Atlanta that’s in DeKalb County—earlier this year from another part of Atlanta in Fulton County.
After carefully preparing my ballot and mailing it in ample time to be counted for the election, I was not made aware that if it is dropped into a box outside of the county that the vote is designated for, it may not get forwarded to the appropriate county.
I spent hours calling voter protection offices in Fulton County, Dekalb County, and one for the state of Georgia. They couldn’t even agree on whether it was safer to put the ballot in the regular post as opposed to the official dropbox.
My Fulton ballot is now in DeKalb’s possession. And I’ve been told that the Fulton ballot can only get home to be counted if DeKalb decides to do so, meaning that my ballot is at risk of not being counted. I’ve been on the line with both counties and the state voter suppression folks.”
Georgia voters deserve to have their voices and votes heard—especially in this election as it comes down to the wire. When election officials take the time to count and verify every ballot, that’s a sign that our democracy is working as it should.
My goal is to create simple, clear instructions about how to properly submit an absentee ballot. It should be very easy for the average voter to follow the instructions and fully expect their ballot to be counted. I am not entirely sure how this should be done, but voter suppression via inaccessible mail-in voting is clearly an issue and needs to be resolved. This will be necessary for future elections as well.
No matter what we look like, how much money we make, who we love, or how we worship, every one of us should feel confident that our votes count and our voices are heard. My ancestors died for me to be able to vote.
We didn’t have answers on election night this year. This is going to be a long process and we must be patient. At the end of the day, the only number that counts is the one certified by the state, and my state owes it to voters to make sure every single ballot is counted. We must be prepared to be patient and wait for every vote to be counted.
Sign this petition if you believe that election officials should post clear, simple instructions on how to cast an absentee ballot.
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