Georgia elections chief spars with DeKalb County over absentee ballots

A plan by the DeKalb County Board of Registrations and Elections to send absentee ballot requests to both active and inactive voters in the county has drawn fire from Georgia’s elections chief.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says the proposal opens the state up to voter fraud.

According to Raffensperger, the inactive voter list is largely comprised of inaccurate or obsolete mailing addresses. Raffensperger says he is concerned that people living at those addresses could request a ballot on behalf of a voter who has moved away.


“Sending absentee ballot requests to inactive voters is a waste of resources and could open the door to fraud,” Raffensperger said. “Individuals looking to undermine the integrity of Georgia’s elections could use the unclaimed requests to obtain absentee ballots fraudulently in the name of people who have moved elsewhere.”

How It Works
Inactive Voters
Registrants are added to the inactive list after having no contact with elections officials for five years, either through election activity or even just by updating their driver’s license. They are also added to the inactive list if mail sent to their listed address by election officials has been returned as non-deliverable or if voters have submitted a change of address form to the U.S. Postal Service indicating they moved to a different county or state. Those voters are then sent a confirmation card by their county election officials asking them to confirm or update their address. If the voter fails to respond to the confirmation card, they are added to the inactive list.

Voters on the inactive list can still vote in-person by showing their photo identification at the polling place. They would then be returned to the active list.

According to the secretary of state’s office, Georgia has about 7,415,000 registered voters. Of those, 411,00, slightly over 5% are listed as inactive.

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