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DeKalb elections office addresses ‘system error’ that led to incorrect voter registrations

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DeKalb elections office addresses ‘system error’ that led to incorrect voter registrations

Vote signs at the Decatur Recreation Center on Nov. 8, 2022. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

Decatur, GA — DeKalb Voter Registrations and Elections discovered a “system error” that changed the addresses of 16 voters in Decatur. Several voters on North Candler Street had noticed last week that their registrations had the incorrect street name.

The voters on North Candler Street said their voter registration address said Candler Road or Candler Drive. The addresses that were affected ranged from 120-150 North Candler Street.

Some also thought their registration erroneously now said they were in District 2. But the redistricting wasn’t an error, the city says. Even though their address was wrong on their registration, those voters were redistricted from District 1 to District 2, City Manager Andrea Arnold confirmed.

The city has two voting districts. The Decatur City Commission changed the districts in November 2022 and the new districts went into effect on Jan. 1, 2023. There was enough of a difference in the population of the city commission and Decatur School Board districts to require redistricting.

DeKalb VRE said the issue has been resolved. It’s unclear what caused the error, but DeKalb VRE spokesperson Sherial Cubit said the address issue was not caused by Decatur’s redistricting.

“We’ve since corrected these addresses in GARViS, the Secretary of State’s database, but the update is not showing when voters check in at the polling location. The Secretary of State’s office is aware of the issue and is working to update the files. Voters will still receive the correct ballot, even though they see a different address at check-in, and their votes will count,” Cubit said. “The addresses were updated two months prior to the system error. The error itself wasn’t part of redistricting, but the impacted voters were redistricted.”

The spokesperson for VRE said the issue occurred with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also reported that a redistricting issue impacting Candler Park and Mary-Lin Elementary Schools did cause voters to receive the wrong ballot in the District 3 Atlanta Board of Education race.

DeKalb VRE told the AJC in a statement that 3,147 voters were impacted by a redistricting issue.

“We’re aware of two instances where City of Atlanta Board of Education District 3 voters received ballots for District 1. Our records indicate that only two  voters received the incorrect ballot during advance voting and zero (0) by mail. The issue has since been resolved and all voters from those precincts will now receive the correct ballot,” Cubit told the AJC.

Atlanta election officials also said that incumbent At-Large District 9 candidate Jessica Johnson was not listed on the ballot in Fulton County but was on the ballot in DeKalb County, the AJC reported.

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