Chatham County Board of Registrars talks changes voters will face at the polls this election season

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With the passing of Georgia’s new Election law, SB 202, there are some changes regarding how you can vote in the upcoming General and Special Elections.

One important change is the new October 4th voter registration deadline. That’s the absolute last day you must be registered to vote if you want to make your voice heard.

“This upcoming November Election is important county-wide. It is not just an Election for the municipalities although there are a number of municipalities that will have Elections for their council and commission seats. There is a county wide vote for the very important ESPLOST measure, so all Chatham County voters will have something to vote on in November,” said Colin McRae, Chairman of Chatham County Board of Registrars.

Some of those new guidelines include having to physically request an absentee ballot through your local board of registrars, their website, or on the state Elections website.

Absentee ballots will no also longer be verified through signature. Instead, they will be verified through either your state issued ID or the last four digits of your social security.

“Our early voting period will begin on Monday, October 12 and run through the three week period up through October 29,” said McRae. “We have five early voting locations this year: the main office, mosquito control, civic center, islands library, and southwest library.”

The new deadline to submit your absentee ballot applications is October 22nd, exactly 11 days before Election Day. That is not a postmark deadline, all absentee ballot applications must be received by the 22nd unless you’re in the military.

Drop off boxes for absentee ballots have been dialed back as well. In Chatham County, there’s now only three drop off box locations, all of which will be inside early voting locations.

Following the 2020 presidential Election, many have questioned whether the current voting process can be trusted. McRae wants to alleviate any worries, before ballots are cast next month.

“There was a lot of fear and suspicion that was fermented by certain talking heads, certain political figures about the integrity of the Election system. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and I can tell you that Elections are as secure and have as much integrity as they’ve ever had, if not more,” said McCrae.

Officials say, even though they don’t expect quite as big of a turnout this Election season compared to last year’s, the Special Election of House Seat 165, formerly held by the late Mickey Stephens should generate a large turnout. 

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