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Absentee ballot requests backlogged in DeKalb and Gwinnett

By Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

Election officials in metro Atlanta are working to clear backlogs in processing absentee ballot requests that could delay ballot delivery to some voters by a few days.

The largest numbers of pending requests were in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties, where a combined 5,440 ballot applications submitted through the state’s website had yet to be processed Monday morning, according to data from the secretary of state’s office.

Over 1.1 million absentee ballots were mailed to voters across Georgia last week and should begin arriving in mailboxes this week. Those whose ballot requests are still pending will have to wait a little longer.

The backlog in DeKalb declined from almost 12,000 on Friday to 2,570 on Monday morning.

DeKalb Elections Director Erica Hamilton said her office is working through duplicate applications. Voters can apply for absentee ballots online or through the mail. Some voters have requested absentee ballots by responding to pre-filled applications sent by nonprofit groups.

“DeKalb County has seen a significant increase in absentee ballot applications as we approach the 2020 general election. While this is not unexpected, the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office is increasing staffing while thoroughly reviewing all applications to ensure the rights of DeKalb voters are upheld and protected,” Hamilton said Friday.

In Gwinnett, the number of pending online absentee requests rose to 2,870 by Monday.

Elections staff have been processing absentee ballot applications as they arrive, making progress over the past two weeks, Gwinnett spokesman Joe Sorenson said.

Through Sunday, almost 1.2 million Georgia voters had requested absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 election, including over 185,000 through the state’s website.

Voters can check the status of their absentee ballot applications on the state’s My Voter Page at