Absentee ballot box placed outside of Pooler City Hall after initial locations denied

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POOLER, Ga. (WSAV) – The city of Pooler now has a new absentee ballot box drop off at city hall. This decision comes after another location selected by election officials was denied by Pooler city leaders.

Pooler City Hall is now the 10th location to receive an absentee ballot dropbox.

“I’m very excited!” Pooler Mayor Rebecca Benton said.

And so is Bloomingdale resident Melissa Allen. News 3 caught up with her as she was dropping off her absentee ballot.

“This is like super easy. I actually went to the polls yesterday and the day before and there was a six-hour wait on one of them one day so I was like forget it,” Allen said.

The dropbox was placed after the Chatham County Board of Registrars reached out to each municipality about potential locations to place them. Initially, Pooler denied the location offered.

“The city manager was asked to put one at the gym off Rodgers Street. That does not have 24-hour surveillance and it’s very dark,” Benton said.

It was then suggested to use the public library but that location also didn’t have 24-hour surveillance. Benton tells News 3 the city offered either the public parking lot at city hall or suggested the National Mighty Eighth Museum.

Over the years the city has seen problems during elections. Benton said there was no malicious intent not to install a dropbox. This week hundreds of people have waited for hours in long lines to vote early.

“The city has no control over the poll workers, the equipment, anything,” Benton said.

At a news conference Wednesday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger urged Georgians to take advantage of early voting or absentee ballots to avoid large crowds on election day.

“What I would really encourage is that the 1.6 million people who requested absentee ballots, actually came in, and people didn’t show up in person,” Raffensperger said.

“And it’s safer than waiting in line with a bunch of people during a pandemic,” Allen said.

There are 10 boxes available for Chatham County voters to drop off their absentee ballots:

  • Chatham County Board of Registrars Main Office (1117 Eisenhower Dr., Suite E)
  • Southwest Library (14097 Abercorn St.)
  • Whitemarsh Island Chatham County Police Precinct (54 Johnny Mercer Blvd.)
  • Savannah State T.A. Wright Stadium (4437 Skidaway Rd.)
  • UGA Extension building in Garden City (17 Minus Ave.)
  • Civic Center (301 W. Oglethorpe Ave.)
  • WW Law Community Center (900 E Bolton St.)
  • Carver Village Community Center (905 Collat Ave.)
  • Liberty City Community Center (1401 Mills B Ln. Blvd.)
  • Pooler City Hall (100 SW US Highway 80)

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