Voting: Absentee ballots finally arriving in local mail boxes. What to know, what’s next. BallotTrax system provides text or email updates on absentee ballot status. Update on advance voting in person. Final day to register: Monday, Oct. 5.

Voting: Absentee ballots finally arriving in local mail boxes. What to know, what’s next. BallotTrax system provides text or email updates on absentee ballot status. Update on advance voting in person. Final day to register: Monday, Oct. 5.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has launched a quick and convenient system that voters can use to track absentee ballots and get updates on the status of the ballots. Once voters sign up on the new BallotTrax system, they’ll get either email or text message alerts on the status of their ballots. Notification will be sent when the absentee ballot application is accepted, when the absentee ballot is sent, and if and when the absentee ballot is accepted or rejected. Voters whose absentee ballots are rejected will be provided with the contact information to fix the issue so they can be assured their vote will be counted.

The site can be accessed HERE

Voters who sign up for notifications after they have already begun the absentee ballot request and return process will receive a notification informing them of the most recent step they have completed in the process. If they have request a ballot but it has not been accepted by elections officials, they will receive a notification that their ballot has been sent. If the absentee ballot has already been accepted by elections officials, newly registered voters will receive a notification that the ballot has been accepted upon signing up.

Notifications about an individual voter’s ballot status may be delayed by a day. Standard text message rates apply for those opting to receive text message updates.

Our ballots arrived in mail on Saturday.
Our own absentee ballot tracker: Throughout the Nov. 3 election cycle, we’re using our own absentee ballot application to track what happens in the process. Our ballots arrived in the mail on Saturday, Sept. 26, but earlier in the day we tried out the new BallotTrax system. This was our response:
  • Your absentee ballot has been mailed. Once you receive it in the mail, please follow the instructions provided with your absentee ballot to return it in a timely manner. State law requires it be returned to the the County Registrar by 7pm on Election Day, November 3rd, 2020. If you have any questions, please call us at (706) 291-5168 or email us at Absentee@Floydcountyga.org

We had been tracking our ballot application via the the MVP post on the Secretary of State’s website (Click here):

  • Aug. 28: Our request was received at the Floyd County elections office.
  • Sept. 18: The date listed on the tracker on when the ballot would be sent.
  • Sept. 26: Our ballots arrived in the mail.
  • Sept. 28: We will drop one ballot into the drop box by the elections office in Rome and the second ballot in the drop box by the library (two registered voters in our household). We will track to see when each is processed.
  • Next up: Date received, status of our ballot and then “reason” if there are any issues.
  • Want to apply for an absentee ballot? Click here.

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Bartow County drop box locations: Drop your sealed ballot off at one of our convenient drop box locations around the county!
  • Elections Office Main Entrance Door, 1300 Joe Frank Harris Pkwy, Cartersville
  • Bartow County Courthouse
  • Allatoona Resource Center
  • Manning Mill Park Gym
  • Euharlee City Hall

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: You can get updates via email or text by signing up via the BallotTrax system HERE. The status of absentee ballot requests will also 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.


ADVANCE VOTING UPDATES, by county:

Advance voting in Floyd County:

  • Oct. 12-30: In person at either the Floyd County Administration Building Community Room at 12 E. Fourth Ave. or Garden Lakes Baptist Church at 2200 Redmond Circle, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 19-23: Floyd County Health Department, 16 E. 12th St.
  • Oct. 26-30: Rome Civic Center at 400 Civic Center Drive.
  • Oct. 17-18 and Oct. 24-25: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Community Room. (Another venue is under discussion).

Bartow County: Advance voting locations and times

  • Elections Office | 1300 Joe Frank Harris Pkwy, Cartersville 30120 | Follow Signs to Voting Entrance
  • Cartersville Civic Center | 435 W Main St, Cartersville, GA 30120 | Front Entrance
    • Monday, Oct. 12 – Saturday, Oct. 17 | 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Monday, Oct. 19 – Saturday,  Oct. 24 | 8 a.m. -6 p.m.
    • Monday, Oct. 26 – Friday, Oct. 30 | 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Allatoona Resource Center | 6503 Glade Rd SE, Acworth, GA 30102 | ARC Main Entrance
  • Manning Mill Park | 163 Manning Mill Rd, Adairsville, GA 30103 | Gym Main Entrance
    • Monday, Oct. 26 – Friday, Oct. 30 | 8am – 6pm

Gordon County:

In person at the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office, 101 S Piedmont St. in Calhoun, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Saturday voting …. For more: Please contact our office at 706-629-7781.

Polk County: Both locations will be up and running all three weeks. We are encouraging voters to vote early if they are able, but they should still anticipate longer lines than usual! Social distancing  practices will still be in place once voters enter the buildings, and masks are strongly encouraged.

  • Polk County Elections Office, 144 West Ave., Suite D,  Cedartown, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 12-16, Oct. 19-23 and Oct. 26, 28 and 30. Also, Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Nathan Dean Community Center, 604 Goodyear St., Rockmart, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 12-16, Oct. 19-23 and Oct. 26, 28 and 30. Also, Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Extended hours, both locations, on Oct. 27 and 29: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

 


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

FLOYD COUNTY

  • 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. 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.

Atlanta Press Club will partner with Georgia Public Broadcasting on the statewide debates. They will be available for viewers to watch online live or on demand via Facebook at www.fb.com/TheAtlantaPressClub. They also will stream live on GPB.org and air on GPB-TV.

House District 14: Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene. Livestream at 1 p.m., on GPB at 10 p.m., both Oct. 12.

U.S. Senate, David Perdue (R) vs. Jon Ossoff (D), 3 p.m. on livestreams, 8 p.m. on GPB, both Oct. 12.

 U.S. Senate, Loeffler seat, 1 and 3 p.m. livestream; 8 and 9 p.m. on GPB, both on Oct. 19. (Only candidates who have reached 3 percent on two independent polls).


VOTERS’ CALENDAR:

  • 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. 12: Atlanta Press Club debates: House District 14: Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene against a potential Democratic candidate. Livestream at 1 p.m., on GPB at 10 p.m., both Oct. 12. U.S. Senate, David Perdue (R) vs. Joel Ossoff (D), 3 p.m. on livestreams, 8 p.m. on GPB.
  • Oct. 17-18: First weekend of advance voting in Floyd County.
  • Oct. 19: Atlanta Press Club debates: U.S. Senate, Loeffler seat, 1 and 3 p.m. livestream; 8 and 9 p.m. on GPB. (Only candidates who have reached 3 percent on two independent polls).
  • Oct. 24-25: Second weekend of advance voting in Floyd County.
  • Oct. 30: Advance voting ends.
  • Nov. 3: Election Day, precincts open 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
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