By Meris Lutz, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(CNT) City News And Talk #atlanta-ga
More than 180,000 people–34 percent of registered voters in Cobb County–have already cast their votes for the November general election with a week left of early voting, according to county officials.
In absolute numbers, Cobb has already surpassed the number of ballots cast over the entire early voting period in the 2016 presidential election, about 160,000. At the time, that accounted for 38 percent of registered voters.
More than half of the ballots cast this year, about 98,000, were returned mail-in ballots, while more than 84,000 people voted early in person. Turnout has been steadily increasing since the start of early voting, from about 8,000 people on the first day to 12,000 a day this week.
The coronavirus pandemic, which swept the country in March and hasn’t let up since, has prompted a surge in absentee ballots. Like other jurisdictions, Cobb has already started processing these ballots, although full results are unlikely to be available on election night.
Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler said her office will be certifying the election at noon on November 13.
“There is no way to know how many ballots we’ll get on election day from mail and drop boxes,” she wrote in an email. “Those will be processed within a day or two, hopefully. We also don’t know how many of those will require cure letters due to missing or mismatched signatures. The cure letters require 3 business days before they can by rejected, so we could be processing up until certification.”