Politics: Nearly 800,000 absentee ballot requests already in Georgia with two months to go. How to get an absentee ballot. Election calendar.

Politics: Nearly 800,000 absentee ballot requests already in Georgia with two months to go. How to get an absentee ballot. Election calendar.

GPB News reports some big numbers already for absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 general election. They include:

  • Nearly 800,000 Georgians, or about one in nine active voters, have already requested an absentee ballot.
  • At least 582,000 are on a “rollover” list of voters who checked a box to receive an absentee ballot for every election in a given cycle. That designation is for voters who are over 65, are disabled are in the military or living overseas.
  • Another 175,000 have applied for a ballot by email, fax, mail or hand-delivering an application to their local election office.
  • More than 41,000 Georgians have used the state’s brand-new online absentee request portal that launched on Friday, using a tool aimed at streamlining the request process for both overwhelmed officials and voters alike.

Presidential, VP debate dates, moderators announced: The non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), today announced the moderators for the 2020 general election presidential and vice presidential debates. The moderators, and the schedule and locations for the debates (as previously announced), are as follows:

  • Sept. 29: First presidential debate: Chris Wallace, Anchor, Fox News Sunday
  • Oct. 7: Vice presidential debate: Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief, USA Today
  • Oct. 15: Second presidential debate (town meeting): Steve Scully, senior Executive Producer & Political Editor.
  • Oct. 22: Third presidential debate: Kristen Welker, Co-Anchor Weekend TODAY, White House Correspondent, NBC News
  • Format:  All debates will be moderated by a single individual and will run from 9:00-10:30 p.m. without commercials. The moderators alone will select the questions to be asked, which are not known to the CPD or to the candidates. The moderators will have the ability both to extend the segments and to ensure that the candidates have equal speaking time. While the focus will properly be on the candidates, the moderator will regulate the conversation so that thoughtful and substantive exchanges occur. For more information, please visit www.debates.org.


The absentee ballot drop box outside the library in downtown Rome stands ready for Nov. 3 ballots. The other drop box is outside the elections office on First Street in front of the elections office. Hometown photo.


The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has developed a website that will allow Georgia voters to request an absentee ballot entirely online. Georgia voters will be able to request their ballot via the portal using their first and last name, date of birth, county where they are registered, and Georgia State ID or Georgia Driver’s License number. Voters will get a confirmation email that their request has been entered into the system. Also, voters can monitor their ballot status on My Voter Page.

  • The portal is available herehttp://www.securevotega.com/secureabsentee/
  • Absentee ballots requested for the November 2020 presidential election cannot be sent out before Sept. 15.
  • In the past, Georgia voters had to download and print an absentee ballot request, then scan and email it or put it in the mail. This new portal saves voters effort and postage and will increase confidence that the request has been received by county elections officials. It also makes it easier and faster for county election official to process absentee ballot requests by minimizing the possibility of data entry errors.
  • While the State ID or driver’s license number provide a secure safeguard for requesting ballots, the ballots themselves will still be verified by matching the voter signature to their signature on file upon submission. A record 1.6 million absentee ballot requests were received for the June primary, inundating county elections officials. This portal will make processing the large number of absentee ballot requests expected for the November election easier for county election officials to process quickly and accurately.

How to apply for an absentee ballot today: The Secretary of State’s office has launched a website to help handle record numbers of voters expected to cast an absentee ballot in this year’s presidential election. The site is available at ballot request.sos.ga.gov. (We gave it a test run and was finished in two minutes; basic and easy to do).

Below are some of the frequently asked questions about the site and ballots. 

Q: Can anyone use this website? A: Any registered Georgia voter is eligible to request and cast an absentee ballot. State law has allowed any voter to use an absentee ballot since 2005.

Q: What information do I need to enter? A: Voters need to type five pieces of information to get started: their first name, last name, birth date, county, and driver’s license or state ID number. Then on the next screen, they can choose what address their ballot should be mailed to and enter an email address to receive a confirmation that their application has been received. Voters who are over 65 years old, physically disabled or living overseas are eligible to sign up to receive an absentee ballot for future elections in this election cycle.

Q: How does the website check my identity? A: The absentee ballot request website matches information with voter registration records. If your name, birth date, county and ID don’t match, you won’t be able to proceed. After three failed attempts, the website will direct you to fill out a PDF application that can be mailed or emailed to county election offices.

Q: Can I track my absentee ballot online? A: The status of absentee ballot requests will be reflected on the My Voter Page at mvp.sos.ga.gov after county election officials accept them. Then voters will be able to see the date their absentee ballot application was received, the date their ballot was issued, and the date the completed ballot was received by the county.

Q: When will absentee ballots arrive at voters’ homes? A: Absentee ballots will begin to be mailed to voters around Sept. 18, which is 46 days before the Nov. 3 election.

A look at what’s on the Nov. 3 ballot: 


  • Floyd County Commission, Post 2: Wright Bagby, R; Charles “Coach” Smith, D.
  • Floyd County Commission, Post 3; Allison Watters, R;  Shonna Bailey, Post 3,  D.
  • Clerk of Court: Barbara Penson, R; Moriah Medina, D.

State representatives:

  • District 12: Eddie Lumsden, R; Jonathan Gilreath-Harvey, D.
  • District 16: Trey Kelley, R; Lyndsay Arrendale, D.

State senate

  • District 14: Bruce Thompson,  R.; Travis Johnson, D.
  • District 31: Jason, Anavitarte, R;  Tianna Smith, D.
  • District 52: Chuck Hufstetler, R; Charles DeYoung, D.

Georgia Public Service Commission:

  • District 1: Robert G. Byrant, D; Jason Shaw, R.
  • District 4: Daniel Blackman, D; Lauren Bubba McDonald, Jr., R.

U.S. House (District 11):

  • Democrat: Dana Barrett; Republican Barry Loudermilk.

U.S. House (District 14):

  • Republican: Marjorie Taylor Greene; Democrat: Kevin Van Ausdal.

U.S. Senate:

  • Republican David Perdue; Democrat Jon Ossoff

U.S. Senate (Isakson term):

  • Democrats: Deborah Jackson, Jamesia James, Tamara Johnson-Shealey, Matt Lieberman, Joy Felicia Slade, Ed Tarver, Raphael Warnock, Richard Dien Winfield.
  • Republicans: Doug Collins, Derrick Grayson, Annette Davis Jackson, A. Wayne Johnson, Kelly Loeffler, Kandiss Taylor.


From the Secretary of State’s office: Includes key dates to remember now through election day on Nov. 3.

  • Sept. 15: Earliest day for a registrar to mail an absentee ballot for the November General Election and Special Election. Absentee ballots shall be mailed out as soon as possible prior to the General Election and Special Election Runoffs for Local and State Offices. Request a ballot.
  • Oct. 5: Last day a person may register and be eligible to vote in the November General Election and Special Election Runoff for Local and State Offices.
  • Oct. 12: Advanced In Person (Early) Voting begins for the November General Election and Special Election.
  • Oct. 24: Mandatory Saturday Voting for the November General Election and Special Election.
  • Oct. 30: Advance voting ends.
  • Nov. 3: Election Day, precincts open 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
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