Only one absentee ballot application may be attached to each email. Absentee ballot applications submitted by email must be less than 5 megabytes in size, legible and in pdf or jpg file format.
“We briefly paused in acceptance of email applications as we identified specific parameters in file format to ensure that we could process applications successfully,” county spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt-Dominguez said.
Fulton election officials only reversed course after the secretary of state's office told them their actions were illegal, said Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs. The secretary of state's office has said 70% of problems during the primary were concentrated in Fulton.
“Other counties do not have this level of issues with required tasks, but Fulton always seems to have an excuse as to why they can’t do what every other Georgia county can when it comes to elections,” Fuchs said Tuesday.
Fulton is reviewing additional technology options for accepting absentee ballot applications, Corbitt-Dominguez said. The county's elections task force last week recommended the creation of a website for absentee applications.
The secretary of state's office is already creating a website where voters will be able to request absentee ballots. The state's website will go live in advance of the November presidential election.
Georgia law allows voters to submit requests for absentee ballots by mail, fax, electronic transmission or in person. The secretary of state's website also states that absentee ballot applications can be returned by email.
The voting rights group Fair Fight Action called on Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to make clear that all counties in Georgia must accept absentee ballot requests by email.
“Raffensperger must step up and immediately do his job to ensure that Georgians do not have different access to democracy depending on their ZIP code,” Fair Fight Action CEO Lauren Groh-Wargo said. “He must take action, today, to compel every county in Georgia to accept applications by email.”
There’s no evidence that any other Georgia county hasn’t been accepting emailed absentee ballot applications, according to the secretary of state’s office.
It’s unknown how many absentee ballots Fulton failed to send to voters before the primary.
In some cases, the county's elections office overlooked voters' emails with more than one absentee ballot application attached. Voters said at the polls on election day they couldn't find any indication that their emailed ballot requests were ever processed.
Still, over 93,000 absentee ballots were successfully cast in Fulton, the third-most in the state, behind Cobb and DeKalb counties.
Record numbers of Georgia voters cast absentee-by-mail ballots in the June 9 primary as they avoided human contact and voted from home.
After Raffensperger mailed absentee ballot request forms statewide, over 1.15 million people voted absentee, nearly half of the 2.36 million voters who turned out for the primary.
Voters in Fulton can email their absentee ballot applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. Voters outside Fulton can find email addresses on county election office websites.
Georgia absentee ballot law
“Any absentee elector may make, either by mail, by facsimile transmission, by electronic transmission, or in person in the registrar’s or absentee ballot clerk’s office, an application for an official ballot of the elector’s precinct to be voted at such primary, election, or runoff.”
Source: O.C.G.A. § 21-2-381