Elections Coordinator Shantell Black (left) and Elections Deputy Director Kristi Royston open and scan absentee ballots on Nov. 7, 2018 at the Voter Registration and Elections Office in Lawrenceville. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM

Bill would allow Georgians to always vote by mail

A bill introduced in the Georgia Senate would allow voters to sign up to vote by mail every election.

Georgia already allows any voter to mail a ballot, but Senate Bill 409 would eliminate the need to request an absentee ballot each primary, general and runoff election.

“This is going to help voters of all different political stripes,” said state Sen. Elena Parent, a Democrat from Atlanta who introduced the bill Thursday. “To be honest, it’s probably going to be most popular among older voters, and they tend to skew Republican.”

Five states permit permanent absentee voting: Arizona, California, Montana, New Jersey and Nevada. Five other states use all-mail voting.

Under current Georgia law, voters with disabilities, living overseas or over 65 years old can fill out one absentee ballot application for all primary, general and runoff elections in a year, but they must re-apply each year.

It’s unclear whether the bill will advance through the legislative process. Nine Democrats signed the measure but it lacks a co-sponsor from the Senate’s Republican majority.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X