Ballots begin to be mailed to Georgia voters for June 9 primary

The first wave of absentee ballots is in the mail to nearly 650,000 Georgia voters who have requested them so far.

Georgia's ballot printing company, Runbeck Election Services, began mailing absentee ballots Tuesday, according to the secretary of state's office.

Absentee ballots will be counted as long as they’re received by county election offices by 7 p.m. on election day June 9.

Record numbers of Georgians plan to mail in their votes after Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sent absentee ballot request forms to the state's 6.9 million active voters early this month.

More than 647,000 absentee ballot requests had been accepted through Tuesday, according to state data.

About 363,000 voters have requested Republican ballots, 265,000 sought Democratic ballots and 19,000 pulled non-partisan ballots.

In-person voting locations will remain open on election day and when early voting begins May 18, but election officials are encouraging absentee voting to avoid human contact at precincts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Absentee ballots weren't mailed sooner because of high demand from Runbeck Election Services to prepare ballots for states with primaries scheduled this summer. Ballots were shipped eight days later than originally planned.

Now that mailings have begun, absentee ballot requests received from now on should be processed within a day or two, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Correction April 24, 2020: Absentee ballots began to be mailed Tuesday, April 21, not Monday, April 20, as initially stated by the Georgia secretary of state's office.