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Absentee ballot applications, free voter IDs now available for Nov. 2 election

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Absentee ballot applications, free voter IDs now available for Nov. 2 election

Official Absentee Ballot Drop Box at 4380 Memorial Drive in greater Decatur. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated. Please note: the links to the absentee ballot applications have changed. 

By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor

DeKalb County, GA — Voters in DeKalb County are eligible to apply for an absentee ballot beginning today, Aug. 16. The county will hold municipal elections on Nov. 2, as well as a county-wide E-SPLOST vote for DeKalb County schools. 

To apply for an absentee ballot:

— Visit the Georgia Secretary of State website: www.sos.ga.gov.

—  Complete the absentee ballot application using the state’s official paper form or request an absentee ballot in writing. Use blue or black ink only. 

Applications can be mailed to the county elections office and voter’s should use this address: DeKalb County Election office, 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur, GA 30032-1239.

Applications can also be submitted through fax, 404-298-4038 or email, [email protected].

Voters may send an absentee ballot request for multiple people who live in the same household in the same envelope or email. 

If an absentee ballot is not mailed to you, contact your county’s elections office. You may still vote in person, either early or on Election Day. 

An absentee ballot application must be received 11 days prior to the election, which is Oct. 22

But don’t wait that long, says one voter education group. Deadlines have been truncated. 

Margaret Arnett, co-founder of the non-partisan voter education site The Georgia Voter Guide, said, “Voters are used to deadlines that they have always had, but now the deadlines are completely different thanks to the new voting law SB202. Voters have less time. The window for applying for an absentee ballot is shorter, and you have to pay attention – or you won’t be able to vote via absentee ballot.” 

In accordance with SB202, a new voting bill signed by Governor Brian Kemp in March, a voter ID is required to apply for an absentee ballot. A Georgia driver’s license, Georgia voter card, U.S. military ID, employee ID issued by any branch of the federal or state government, U.S. Passport, tribal ID, or a document verifying a voter’s name and address – including a paycheck, utility bill, or bank statement – are accepted forms of ID.    

Voters can obtain a free ID at the DeKalb County Elections office at 4380 Memorial Drive in Decatur or at the following locations:

– On Aug. 25 from 3-6 p.m. at Doraville Marta Station, 6000 New Peachtree Road, Doraville 30340.

— On Aug. 30 from 3-6 p.m. at Indian Creek Marta Station, 3901 Durham Park Road, Stone Mountain 30083. 

— On Sept. 15 from 3-6 p.m. at Chamblee Marta Station, 5200 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee 303041.  

— On Sept. 14 from 3-6 p.m. at Kensington Marta Station, 3505 Kensington Road, Decatur 30032. 

A list of 185,666 voters was released by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, a notification that voters are in danger of being removed from voter lists. Election officials mailed a notice to the last know address of voters who have been inactive for more than three years, said Raffensberger’s office. 

In DeKalb County, approximately 18,000 voters in the county will receive these notices in their mailboxes.

“We know some of these individuals may have moved out of state or are no longer eligible to vote in Georgia,” said Erica Hamilton, director of DeKalb County Elections. “However, we also know there may be voters who just have not participated in a recent election. Voters who have not cast a ballot in the last five years and want to remain active in the system should immediately complete and return the notice to our office.”

The Georgia Voter Guide said if a voter is on the list, they should contact their county’s elections office. Voters can check their registration status by visiting the My Voter Page at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov.

Early voting begins Oct. 12, but early voting locations are not yet posted on the Georgia Secretary of State or DeKalb County Elections Department websites.

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