This report addresses the following questions:
- How did the large increase in the use of absentee-by-mail ballots vary by partisanship, race, age, and other demographics?
- How did the COVID-19 pandemic influence turnout and vote mode?
- What were the county-level differences in vote by mail rates and election day turnout, and how did this compare to 2016?
- What type of voters were more likely to vote by mail, and who was most likely to have their mail-in ballots rejected?
To adapt Georgia’s electoral infrastructure to deal with the pandemic, state officials delayed the planned primary election from March 24 to June 9, 2020. Nonetheless, some voters reported issues with requesting or receiving absentee ballots, and scattered incidents of missing and malfunctioning technology, poorly trained or inexperienced poll workers, poll worker shortages, and other human errors resulted in late starts, hours-long lines, and confusion among voters and poll workers alike.
Georgia Updates and Election News:
10/5/20 - Flu Shots in Precincts: Recognizing the heightened sensitivity around public health in the COVID-19-era, Gwinnett County health officials are planning to offer flu shots at every early voting site.
9/23/20 - Early Voting Locations: The Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections authorized the use of two new early voting sites—a senior center and a recreation center—to complement the County's current early voting station at the Board's headquarters.
9/17/20 - Early Voting Locations: This week, Gwinnett County commissioners approved a plan to open nine polling locations for three weeks of early voting; this is the earliest they have opened voting before an election. County officials have mostly chosen parks and fairgrounds to enable social distancing and minimize COVID transmissions.
9/15/20 - Ballot Drop Box: In an effort to help the general election run more smoothly than the primaries, Fulton County has announced that they plan to double their number of absentee ballot drop box locations.
9/13/20 - Polling Place Changes: Due to issues in the primaries, Fulton County is implementing changes to increase its number of polling locations and decrease the number of people assigned to each polling location. Impacted voters will be notified of the change by mail, and the county will place signs at the entrances of the original polling places to direct voters to their new polling location.
9/8/20 - Poll Wait Time Tracker: After long lines during the primaries, Georgia is implementing a poll wait time tracker software, Esri, so every voter can see poll wait times across each county in real time.
8/28/20 - Violation of Election Law: The State Election Board found probable cause that Fulton County Elections violated Election Law after voter complaints about Fulton County's failure to process and send absentee ballot requests for the June 9 primary. The board voted unanimously to send the case to the Georgia Attorney General’s Office.