Sec. of State says new voter portal will streamline getting absentee ballots for November election

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Georgia’s top election official is responding to the Carter Center’s plans to supervise local elections in the fall.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Channel 2′s Tony Thomas that he believes the new system will cut out errors as many more Georgians will vote from home in the November election.

Raffensperger said he expects more than 500,000 Georgians to use the new online portal for the November elections at SecureVoteGA.com.

“Do you believe it is just as safe?” Thomas asked Raffensperger.

“It is. (It) actually provides the safeguards voters want to see,” Raffensperger said.

All registered voters have to do is enter their name, birth date and driver’s license number. You are then automatically registered to receive an absentee ballot for November.

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“The advantage of the portal is it’s going to streamline, from the counties’ standpoint, the amount of paperwork they have to handle transposing your information as a voter,” Raffensperger said.

For the primary elections, the state mailed absentee ballot registration forms to 6.9 million people.

Raffensperger said the state moved online to cut down on costs and cut out errors.

“We are expecting big numbers,” Raffensperger said.

The move comes as a debate over absentee ballot safety rages across the country.

The Atlanta-based Carter Center, known for monitoring elections around the world, announced for the first time it will try to “improve” elections here at home.

“We welcome that. Obviously we’ve always allowed in Georgia to come in, we’ve always had poll watchers,” Raffensperger said.

Some counties may also make adjustments.

Gwinnett County commissioners are set to vote Tuesday on whether to mail ballot applications to all registered voters in the county.

It’s unclear if the state’s new portal will impact that vote.

“It’s a matter of resources to do what has to be done,” Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash said.

The new portal is up and running.

Once you receive the ballot, you can either vote by mailing it in through the U.S. Postal Service or, in many areas, by dropping it off at election voting bins.

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