Provisional ballots cast in Georgia do not appear unusually high

Ongoing counts of provisional ballots cast Tuesday across Georgia show no unusually high numbers, despite warnings of “chaos” from civil rights groups about eligible citizens showing up to vote but not being listed on the rolls.

The largest counts of provisional ballots, not surprisingly, are in metro Atlanta: about 7,600 voters among five core counties. Numbers for other metro areas in Georgia were much smaller. Athens-Clarke County, for example, had about 100.

All told, however, the counts fell significantly below warnings of tens of thousands of voters the groups said could appear on Election Day. The alert came as some groups sued the state alleging more than 40,000 eligible voters were missing from the rolls despite making an effort to register this year.

A state judge dismissed the suit last week.

Provisional ballots may be cast if local counties have some question of a voter’s identification or status. Casting a provisional ballot requires the voter to provide additional information before their vote may be counted. Voters have three days after the election to provide that information to local registrars.

Critics of the system, including the groups which sued Georgia, say it is a hassle and may discourage otherwise eligible voters from taking the extra steps required to prove who they are or whether they should be eligible to vote.

The provisional ballot counts are unofficial until Secretary of State Brian Kemp certifies the overall election results. That is expected to happen Tuesday. Among the approximate counts so far for major metro counties:

  • Fulton: 3,125
  • Gwinnett: 1,700
  • Cobb: 1,620
  • DeKalb: 1,032
  • Clayton: 145

In Other News