Ga. Democrats allege missing absentee ballot applications in DeKalb

The Democratic Party of Georgia says it has evidence that as many as 4,700 DeKalb County voters never received their mail-in ballots.

Credit: � 2018 Cox Media Group.

Credit: � 2018 Cox Media Group.

The Democratic Party of Georgia says it has evidence that as many as 4,700 DeKalb County voters never received their mail-in ballots.

With less than two weeks before Election Day, the Georgia Democratic party alleges there are 4,700 registered voters in DeKalb who have submitted absentee ballot applications but still have not received their ballots.

“A significant number of voters called our hotline making us aware of the issue, which we raised with the county board,” the party spokesman Seth Bringham told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an email.

DeKalb County’s elections board has received a list of the approximately 4,700 voters from the Democratic Party, said Sam Tillman, DeKalb’s board chairman.

“After reviewing the list of names, there is evidence that the county received 48 of those voter absentee ballot request forms. All 48 of those forms have been processed, “Tillman said.

“At this time, there is no evidence that there are any missing or lost absentee ballot request forms. The Elections Department receives request forms daily and processes them within three days of receipt. At this time there are approximately 250 forms pending processing.”

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A spokeswoman with Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office said elections director Chris Harvey was notified of the allegation Thursday and went to DeKalb to meet with election officials.

But the officials with Kemp’s office said they have not found evidence of the Democratic Party’s claims.

“...At this time, we do not have proof of any missing absentee ballot requests,” spokeswoman Candice Broce said.

“We take every complaint seriously. We will continue to look into this matter. To be clear, DeKalb County has been fully cooperative thus far, and we are now waiting on evidence from Democratic Party officials to substantiate these reports,” Broce said.

Last week DeKalb spokesman Andrew Cauthen said the county had received less than five complaints about absentee ballots.

“In past elections, the turnaround period (from when the office received an application) was 24 hours for our office,” Cauthen said in an emailed statement at the time. “With the increase in requests, the turnaround period has increased to a maximum of 3 days, which is allowed by Georgia Law.”

Absentee ballot totals have passed 2014 midterm totals. By Friday afternoon, DeKalb had received almost 10,000 absentee ballots, according to elections data on the county's website. The county received more than 7,100 absentee ballots in 2014.

To date, more than 62,000 people have voted in DeKalb County this midterm election season.

Staff writer Mark Niesse contributed to this story.


Channel 2 Action News has confirmed the state is investigating claims that a local county elections office lost thousands of absentee ballot applications.