GRADY COUNTY ELECTION SUPERINTENDENT Denise Maddox poses with the new drop-box erected behind the Grady County Courthouse. Voters casting absentee ballots may drop off their ballot rather than mailing them back in, according to Maddox.
Voters concerned about the spread of COVID-19 are continuing to show an interest in voting absentee in the upcoming elections and voters have already begun to utilize a new drop-box erected at the courthouse where absentee ballots may be dropped off without even having to get out of one’s vehicle.
Grady County Chief Registrar Malinda Butler reported this week that she has processed a total of 2,965 applications for absentee ballots up from 2,294 last week.
Of those 2,965, 936 are requests for Democratic ballots, 67 for non-partisan ballots, and 1,935 for Republican ballots.
The chief registrar reports that 13 Democrat ballots have been returned and 57 Republican ballots. Approximately 20 ballots have been dropped off in the new drop box that was erected last Friday behind the courthouse.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office mailed absentee ballot applications to all registered voters. Once a voter returns the completed application, an absentee ballot will be mailed to the voter.
Grady County Election Superintendent Denise Maddox reminds voters of the process of voting absentee: After voting, fold the ballot and place it inside the “Official Absentee Ballot” sleeve. For those who have requested an Absentee Ballot by mail, you will notice something different when returning your ballot. You are accustomed to receiving an envelope labeled “Official Absentee Ballot”. THERE IS NO OFFICIAL BALLOT RETURN ENVELOPE. However, there is an OFFICIAL ABSENTEE BALLOT SLEEVE. The ballot will not be rejected if the privacy sleeve is not included.
After placing the ballot inside the sleeve, place it into the outer return envelope and sign the oath located on the flap of the outer envelope. Then, return it to the Grady County Registrar no later than 7 p.m. on June 9, 2020. The last day to make a request for an Absentee Ballot is June 5, 2020.
Voters who do not wish to mail their ballot back may maintain social distancing by utilizing the new drop-box behind the courthouse, Maddox said.
City of Cairo registered voters are reminded that they must request an absentee ballot application for the city’s special election by contacting Cairo City Hall, 229-377-1722, option 1. City voters will not receive an absentee ballot unless they make a request with Municipal Election Superintendent Dana Barfield.
According to Barfield, 76 applications have been filed and 44 have been returned. This compares to the 2017 election of mayor and city councilmen when only 13 total absentee ballots were requested and cast.