Chatham County Board of Registrars addresses site glitch, unreturned absentee ballots

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – There are two days left to vote early in Georgia’s runoff election. Officials say turnout is almost as high as the general election in November, which is unusual for this type of election.

Since the start of early in-person voting, for example, Colin McRae, the Chairman of the Chatham County Board of Registrars, says more than 28,500 people cast a ballot. On average, that means 2,600 people are voting early each day.

In the general election, McRae says an average of 3,000 people voted early each day.

When it comes to absentee ballots, McRae says 45,291 Chatham County voters have requested one, but less than half — or about 19,000 — have not been returned to the Board of Registrars.

“Our numbers are maybe lagging behind a little bit in terms of numbers that are being returned to us,” explained McRae. “I really encourage those people who have their absentee ballots …to go ahead and do it.”

People who return ballots early give the Board of Registrars staff extra time to process them before handing them off to the Board of Elections for more processing and, finally, tabulation.

McRae says the Secretary of State’s MyVoterPage — which tracks the status of absentee ballots — may not be up-to-date. He says Georgia’s top election officials have been made aware of the problem.

“Just because that system doesn’t show it as received, doesn’t mean it hasn’t been received. Stay patient,” said McRae.

He blames it on a glitch.

“It seems as if several days of absentee ballots have been either backlogged by the Secretary of State’s system, or they’re just not being reflected as updated as being received,” said McRae.

If you have not requested an absentee ballot yet, McRae says it may be too late to receive it before the deadline. Ballots can be requested until Friday and must be in a drop box by January 5 at 7 p.m.

Early voting continues until Thursday. Keep in mind, polling locations will close at 5 p.m. — instead of 7 p.m. — on New Year’s Eve.

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