[Updated] Dekalb County polling locations updated, voters encouraged to drop off ballots at secure boxesFile Photo provided by Dena Mellick
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Decatur, Ga. — The Dekalb County elections board has released a list of updated polling locations and encourages voters to vote by mail early, drop off their ballots at one of the county’s secure drop-off boxes, or vote in person during the remainder of this week.
“The impact of the COVID pandemic on polling locations has challenged all elections departments across the country,” Baoky Vu, a member of the elections board, told Decaturish in an email. “Here in DeKalb County, the department has had to deal with repeated delays in elections schedules combined with massive requests for absentee ballots.
“The Elections team realizes that many voters are concerned about further changes, as well as whether their ballots have been sent out or will they arrive back in time to be counted. Over 150,000 requests were received over the course of the past two months. To reduce the expected wait times for the June 9 primary at day-of locations, we are strongly encouraging voters to mail their ballots in early, drop them off at safe and secure ballot drop boxes, and/or vote in-person the remainder of this week.”
New polling places were secured for those locations that were no longer able to operate as polling places due to the pandemic.
Additional drop boxes have been received and are being wrapped appropriately for delivery to city Hall at Tucker and Dunwoody. Those already in place are at the county’s main elections office on Memorial Drive, city of Brookhaven and the city of Stonecrest.
All drop boxes are available for use 24 hours a day.
Two emergency polling places have been created in the city of Decatur:
– Decatur Recreation Center at 213 Sycamore Street
– Decatur Legacy Park (Cochran Building) on S. Columbia Drive
The updated polling places for the county can be found here: Precinct Changes as of 5.30.2020
In addition to the changes on that PDF, the polling location for the Ponce de Leon precinct has been changed to the Decatur Recreation Center at 231 Sycamore Street.
In the upcoming June 9 primary election, absentee ballots are being prioritized due to concerns about in-person polling places being a site of COVID-19 spread. On March 30, 2020, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office mailed absentee ballot applications to all registered active voters in the state. These applications were able to be submitted via email or USPS mail.
If you filled out and submitted your absentee ballot application, but haven’t received your absentee ballot yet, here’s what to do.
1. Contact the Board of Registration
Call the Dekalb County Voter Registration and Election Department at (404) 298-4020.
2. Track Your Mail or Sign an Affidavit
The employee at the Voter Registration and Election Department will help you track your absentee ballot the same way a package in the mail is tracked. If they cannot locate your absentee ballot, you’ll then have to sign an affidavit, which will cancel the first ballot. An absentee ballot will then be reissued to you.
More voter troubleshooting …
What do I do if I never received an absentee ballot application?
You have two options. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is June 4th, 2020 at 4 p.m.
1. Call the DeKalb County Registration and Elections office and ask that an application be sent to you via USPS, electronically or fax.
2. Fill out the PDF version of Official State of Georgia Absentee Ballot Application, which can be found here. You must complete, print, sign and return the application to the DeKalb County Voter and Elections Office through one of the following methods:
Fax: (404) 298-4038
Hand-delivery/USPS: 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30033
When is the deadline to mail or drop off my absentee ballot?
Absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on June 9, 2020. Uniformed and Overseas Citizens (UOCAVA) ballots must be postmarked by June 9, 2020, and received no later than Friday, June 12, 2020.
Where’s the second envelope?
The instructions in ballot packet state “after voting your ballot, enclose and securely seal the ballot in the smaller of the two envelopes provided,” which is white and reads “Official Absentee Ballot.” For many voters, they did not receive a second envelope but instead a folded piece of white paper that reads “Official Absentee Ballot.” Slip your completed ballot inside the folded piece of paper, and slip the piece of paper, containing the ballot, into the larger mailing envelope. Do not secure the piece of paper with tape or staples, as this may damage your ballot upon removal.
Where are the absentee ballot drop-off boxes located?
The updated list of absentee ballot drop-off boxes as of June 4th is:
Exchange Park – 2771 Columbia Drive Decatur, GA 30034
Brookhaven City Hall – 4362 Peachtree Rd NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319
Stonecrest City Hall – 3120 Stonecrest Blvd., Stonecrest, GA 30038
Stone Mountain City Hall – 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Dunwoody City Hall – 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd. NE, Dunwoody, GA 30338
Voter Registration Office – 4380 Memorial Dr., Decatur, GA 30032 (2 drop boxes)
Mailing in your ballot to 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300 is also sufficient.
Is in-person early voting still available?
Yes, but view the in-person voting locations here.
More information about voting in this election:
The voter registration deadline for the June 9 election was May 11.
You can look up your status by visiting the Georgia Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page.” To visit the My Voter Page, click here. You can check your status by providing basic information like your last name, birthday and the county you live in. You can also see a sample ballot.
If you find you are not registered and want to be registered in time for the next election, there are a few ways you can get back on the voter rolls.
You can register online with the Secretary of State’s Office by clicking here.
According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, in order to register to vote you must:
– Be a citizen of the United States
– Be a legal resident of the county where you are voting
– Be at least 17 1/2 years of age to register and 18 years of age to vote
– Not be serving a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude
– Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge
For more information about how to register, click here.
People are being encouraged to vote by mail in the upcoming election. Most people should’ve already received an application for an absentee ballot form in the mail. Absentee ballots can be requested online through the Secretary of State’s Office or the County Board of Registrations and Elections. The county board of registrar’s office is located at 4380 Memorial Drive Suite, 300, Decatur, GA 30032. Once the ballot has been requested, election officials will mail each voter the appropriate ballot.
People voting by mail will be identified using signature verification. If a signature doesn’t match, those voters will be mailed a provisional ballot and asked to return that along with a photocopy of their identification. Three people have to agree that a signature does not match before a provisional ballot is sent to a voter.
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